Poxy McPoxface, TRUMP-22 or Mpox: These are some of the ideas that the World Health Organization submits from the public when looking for a new name for monkeypox.
Disease names are often chosen behind closed doors by a technical committee, but this time WHO has decided to open the process to the public. After a slow start, dozens of entries have now been submitted by a range of contributors, including academics, doctors and a gay community activist.
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They range from the technical (OPOXID-22, submitted by Harvard Medical School paramedic Jeremy Faust) to the farcical (Poxy McPoxface, submitted by Andrew Yi in reference to Boaty McBoatface – almost the name of a British polar research ship after an audience about the election decide by vote).
Pressure is mounting for a new name for the disease, in part because critics say it’s misleading since monkeys aren’t the original animal host. A group of leading academics wrote a position paper in June calling for a “neutral, non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing” name amid concerns the name could be used in a racist way.
Up to this year, monkeypox has mainly spread to only one group of countries in west and central Africa.
“It is very important that we come up with a new name for monkeypox as it is the best practice not to offend any ethical group, region, country, animal, etc.,” said WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib on Tuesday.
“The WHO is very concerned about this issue and we want to find a name that doesn’t stigmatize,” she added, without giving a timeline.
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One of the most popular submissions to date is Mpox, submitted by Samuel Miriello, director of a men’s health organization RÉZO, which already uses the name in its awareness campaigns in Montreal, Canada.
“If you remove the monkey pictures, people seem to understand quicker that this is an emergency that needs to be taken seriously,” he told Reuters.
Another suggestion, TRUMP-22, appeared to refer to former US President Donald Trump, who used the controversial term “Chinese virus” for the new coronavirus, although its author said it stood for “Toxic Rash of Unrecognized Mysterious Provenance.” of 2022″.
Posts mocking the gay community had previously been published but were later removed from the WHO website.
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WHO is mandated to assign new names to existing diseases as part of the International Classification of Diseases. It has already renamed monkeypox virus variants, or clades, changing them from African regions to Roman numerals.
The WHO said it would decide among the proposals “according to their scientific validity, their acceptability, their pronounceability (and) whether they can be used in different languages”.
“I’m sure we won’t come up with a ridiculous name,” said Chaib.
Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 and named after the first animal to show symptoms. The WHO declared the current outbreak a public health emergency last month after reporting more than 32,000 cases from over 80 countries.
https://globalnews.ca/news/9063620/who-monkeypox-name-submissions/ Poxy McPoxface? TRUMP-22? WHO rejects ‘ridiculous’ name submissions for monkeypox – National