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The World Health Organization may change the name of the virus, which is considered misleading and stigmatizing

The World Health Organization may change the name of the virus, which is considered misleading and stigmatizing

say no more monkeypox, say … Well, at the moment we don’t know. But inside there’s a brain storm going onWho is the In order to “change the name of this virus,” its general manager, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, promised “to announce as soon as possible.” In addition to the individual virus, it will also and mainly be a question of changing the name of the different strains, as well as the name of the disease itself. Why this change when monkeypox has been controlled in more than 40 countries?

This consideration mainly pertains to virus strains. They are already named after regions or countriesAfrica : We are talking about the tribe of West Africa and the Congo Basin, the second of which is much more deadly than the tribe of its cousin. He went, 84% of new cases were detected in Europe this year and 12% in America. Thus, changing the name will make it possible to reverse the current reality of the disease, since in early June about thirty scientists, many of them from Africa, demanded a “non-discriminatory, no stigmatization” classification.

‘It’s not really a monkey’s disease’

The name “monkey pox” is misleading in itself. The current outbreak is due to a strain that is easily transmitted from person to person, while African cases are mainly caused by animal contamination. Especially, even in the original: “It’s not really a disease related to it” monkeys Notes by virologist Oyewale Tomori. This name is a legacy of the conditions in which the disease was discovered in the 1950s: Danish researchers discovered it in a monkey lab. But in real life, rodents are mostly hunted.

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In addition to this misleading aspect, there are again concerns about the nature and stigma of such a name. “Monkeys are generally associated with countries in the south, especially Africa,” study researcher Moses John Bockarie recalls in The Conversation. These concerns are part of a broader context in which Africa is often the target of diseases that have spread around the world. “We’ve seen it especially with lozenges It was Ebola during the 2013 epidemic, then with the Covid virus and the so-called “South African variants”, epidemiologist Oliver Restive told AFP.

That’s why the picture is important. Oliver Restive regrets that the media has often chosen the unfortunate illustrations for its articles on monkeypox. He notes that these images are often “old pictures of African patients”, while the current cases are “much less serious”.