The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Monday that it will be renaming monkeypox to “mpox” due to concerns of racist connotations.
The WHO said that the decision came after a “series of consultations” with global experts, and that “mpox” was ultimately decided to be the best name.
The WHO will now begin steps to phase out the term “monkeypox,” though they said that people will still be able to search the term in their online database and it will yield results.
According to UPI, “mpox” will be incorporated into the International Classification of Diseases online with the week.
“Usually, the ICD updating process can take up to several years. In this case, the process was accelerated, though following the standard steps,” the WHO said in their announcement.
The decision, they said, “serves to mitigate the concerns raised by experts about confusion caused by a name change in the midst of a global outbreak.”
The WHO cited reports of “racist and stigmatizing language” in the wake of the US declaring an emergency over monkeypox.
The WHO previously announced in August that it would be changing the name of monkeypox due to these concerns.
Monkeypox was originally given its name in 1958. According to the CDC, common symptoms include rash, fever, fatigue, chills, itching, headaches, and swollen glands.
The majority of all infections are among men who have sex with other men.
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