WHO renames monkey smallpox virus to avoid discrimination monkey smallpox

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it will change its name to prevent discrimination and stigmatization of smallpox, as the virus continues to spread among people in an unprecedented global epidemic of the disease.

According to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyus, the organization is “working with partners and experts around the world to change the name of the smallpox virus, its layer and the disease it causes.”

The move comes after scientists called for an “urgent” change in the name, which they described as “inaccurate,” “discriminatory” and “stigmatic” in a report released last week. The announcement of the new name will be made “as soon as possible,” Tedros said.

Similar concerns were raised as the coronavirus pandemic intensified, with new Covid variants being named after the countries or regions where they were first discovered, leading to travel bans and other restrictions. In response, the WHO introduced a naming system that called the new variants the letters of the Greek alphabet.

In the media and in the scientific literature, scientists report that the smallpox virus is endemic to humans in some African countries, and that the vast majority of the virus is found in animals, raising concerns that they may occasionally cause disease in history. infecting people.

Researchers warn that it is “a growing statement in the media and among many scientists who are trying to link the current global epidemic to Africa or West Africa or Nigeria.” The virus has been spreading for some time, mainly among men who have had sex, when the UK’s health safety agency rang the bell on May 4 after a monkey patient arrived in London from Nigeria.

Currently, the WHO refers to two species of monkeys, namely “West African” and “Congo Basin (Central African)”. This year’s epidemic is less dangerous than the second, caused by the first type.

“In the context of the current global epidemic, the reference and nomenclature that this virus is African is not clear, and is discriminatory and stigmatizing,” the experts wrote. They criticize the use of images of African patients with smallpox to portray the global northern epidemic.

In the report, the scientists use the name “hMPXV” for the human ape virus to distinguish the virus that caused the current international epidemic in humans from the virus most commonly found in animals.

Dr Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization’s director for Europe, said on Wednesday that the scale of the epidemic was “a real threat” and told a media briefing: , called on health partners and civil society to “take urgent action” to “control this epidemic”.

At the same briefing, European Pride board member Steve Taylor said LGBTQ + activities should not be closed due to the epidemic, but should be used to disseminate public health messages about monkey disease. According to him, about 750 Pride events will be held in Europe this summer.

“We have been working with the WTO in recent weeks to develop our own statements, and we urge Pride organizations in Europe to take action to raise awareness of the apes’ disease so that people can protect themselves,” he said. “Unfortunately, but as predicted, some of the Pride and Equality and Human Rights opponents have tried to use Monkeys as a basis for calls to ban Pride.

“We are pleased that the WTO guidelines should not affect Pride and major events and are in fact an opportunity to share important messages on public health,” he added.

The UKHSA reported 52 more cases of monkey disease in the UK on Wednesday, another in Scotland and another in Wales, with a total of 524 cases reported in the UK as of June 14. The latest epidemic has confirmed more than 1,800 cases of smallpox in dozens of countries outside Africa.

The UKHSA has encouraged people to go to a sexual health clinic if they develop blisters with blisters and if they have had or have been in close contact with someone who has had or may have had chickenpox in the past three weeks. Central Africa in the last three weeks.

The WHO will convene an emergency meeting of experts on smallpox next week, which means an international agreement on whether the current epidemic should respond to social emergencies.

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