Monkey pox: Should the name of the disease be changed?

Considered stigmatizing, the World Health Organization may officially change the name of monkeypox at the request of New York City.

This Tuesday, July 27, 2022, the City of New York asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to officially change the name of this organization. monkeypox (“monkeypox” in English) because it is considered stigmatizing.

On the same topic

What is the problem ? According to New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan, this “terminology“is the”rooted in a racist and painful history for communities of color” he writes inside mail addressed to WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Monkey pox: The word is considered stigmatizing

Continuing to use the term “monkey pox” to describe the current outbreak may rekindle these traumatic feelings of racism and stigma—especially for black people and other people of color, as well as members of the LGBTQIA+ communities—and prevent them from accessing important health care services. because of this” he adds.

Ashwin Vasan specifically draws parallels with the anti-Asian racism that developed at the beginning of the Covid-19 epidemic, when the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was still classified as a “Chinese virus”.

We remind you that monkeypox already has several names, which are mainly used by the scientific community: thus we can talk about “monkeypox”, “monkeypox infection” or even “monkey orthopoxvirus”. In mid-June 2022, the WHO was already considering changing the name of this pathology, which is currently considered an international public health emergency (USPPI).

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Darell Goodwin

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