On Monday, the World Health Organization announced a new name for monkeypox, following complaints about the racism of the old name.
The organization said in a statement, a copy of which was seen by Anadolu Agency, that the disease will be known from now on as “Mbox”.
She explained that the old name “monkeypox” will be used alongside the new name “mbox” for a year, before it is phased out.
The statement stated that the organization’s decision to change the name came after a consultation process in which the opinions of various advisory bodies were heard, including experts from the medical, scientific, classification and statistics advisory committees that were formed from representatives of government authorities in 45 countries.
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The organization said the new name could be “easily” used in English and other languages, according to the statement.
The statement indicated that after the outbreak of the disease earlier this year, the organization noticed the spread of racist language regarding the name of the disease on the Internet and other places in some communities, which raised the concerns of many individuals and countries and called on the organization to change the name.
For the first time, the name monkeypox appeared in 1958, when two cases of a smallpox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys designated for research in Denmark.
From the beginning of 2022 until September 27, 96 countries announced more than 40,000 laboratory-confirmed infections, including 12 deaths, which prompted them to declare the disease a “global health emergency.”
The disease is a viral infection of animal origin that can be transmitted to humans as well as from person to person, according to the World Health Organization.