WHO likely to rename monkeypox to ‘MPOX’: Report

US based newspaper The Politico reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) wants to rename monkeypox to “MPOX” in an effort to de-stigmatize the virus. It said that Biden officials began to exert increasing pressure, privately requesting that WHO change the name. It further stated said, the choice might be made public on Wednesday.

Washington is concerned that the virus’ name is deepening stigma and affecting the country’s vaccination campaign, according to a Politico report that cited people with knowledge of the situation.

Monkeypox cases have been documented since early May 2022 in non-endemic nations and are still being documented in a number of endemic nations. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that there have been close to 30,000 infections in the US.

In contrast to West or Central Africa, where the monkeypox virus is endemic, the majority of confirmed cases with travel histories mentioned visits to Europe and North America.

The majority of cases that have been reported thus far have been discovered through sexual health or other healthcare services in primary or secondary healthcare facilities, and have primarily but not exclusively involved men who have sex with men.

According to a statement made by WHO last month, monkeypox continues to meet the requirements of the International Health Regulations (IHR) for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

“The Emergency Committee acknowledged that some progress has been made in the global response to the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox since the last meeting, including the emerging information on the effectiveness of behavioural interventions and vaccines,” the WHO said in a statement.

This follows the third meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox.

At the regional level, the risk was deemed to be high in the WHO region of the Americas, declining from high to moderate in the region of Europe, remaining moderate for the WHO regions of Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean, and South-East Asia, and remaining low in the region of the Western Pacific, according to WHO.

(With inputs from ANI)

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