According to the World Health Organization, a new term for monkeypox is being developed in collaboration with specialists.
The declaration follows a letter last week from more than 30 scientists stating the “urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing” name for the virus and the illness it produces.
The experts argued that it is misleading and discriminatory to continue referring to the virus as African.
The monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same virus family as smallpox but has a much milder effect, is what causes monkeypox.
72 deaths have been documented in nations where monkeypox was already endemic, and over 1,600 instances of the illness have been reported globally in recent weeks.
The World Health Organization says it will hold an emergency meeting next week to determine whether to classify the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern – the highest alarm the UN agency can sound.
Swine flu, polio, Ebola, Zika, and Covid are the only other illnesses that the WHO has previously classified as such.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, said:
“The monkeypox outbreak is unique and alarming.
This is why I’ve made the decision to call a meeting of the Emergency Committee mandated by international health laws the next week to determine if this epidemic qualifies as a public health emergency of concern to other countries.
Scientists have come up with several different names for the virus, including hMPXV.
Prior outbreaks have mostly been contained to regions of Africa where rodents—not monkeys—are believed to be the primary animal host.
A rash that resembles chickenpox is brought on by the illness. The virus can be spread when someone is in close contact with an infected person.