Three months ago, the World Health Organization – in all its ‘expertise’ – decided to prioritize resources in seeking the public’s help in renaming Monkeypox, as “part of an ongoing effort to discourage harmful misconceptions associated with the current name.” The renaming effort followed “demands from international scientists” and “public health officials” who have claimed that the current name encourages a harmful stigma.
“When the outbreak of monkeypox expanded earlier this year, racist and stigmatizing language online, in other settings and in some communities was observed and reported to WHO,” the press release stated.
As the WHO explains:
Human monkeypox was given its name in 1970 (after the virus that causes the disease was discovered in captive monkeys in 1958), before the publication of WHO best practices in naming diseases, published in 2015. According to these best practices, new disease names should be given with the aim to minimize unnecessary negative impact of names on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare, and avoid causing offence to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups.