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Neutral names for monkeypox virus subgroups

Monkeypox subgroups will be labeled as neutral in the future.  Photo: Niaid/Niaid/Planet Pix via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Monkeypox subgroups will be labeled as neutral in the future. photo

© Niaid/Niaid/Planet Pix via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Also with corona mutations there were discussions about designations that were as neutral as possible without discrimination. However, in the case of monkey pox, there are already problems with the umbrella term.

The subgroups of the monkeypox virus will in the future be identified with Roman letters. Instead of the Congo Basin or the West African group, the designations are now subgroups I and II, as the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Friday evening in Geneva. Virologists had asked for the name change because the regional names were misleading and stigmatizing.

Furthermore, no decision has yet been made on a new name for the monkey pox disease. This should also be given a neutral name.

Monkeys have already been attacked in Brazil because people believed that the disease, which has been showing up in many countries since May, is transmitted by monkeys. In fact, the disease is only called that because it was first discovered in monkeys in 1958. But monkeys have nothing to do with the recent outbreaks. Instead, people become infected through close physical contact with other people.

WHO accepts proposals

Suggestions for a new name can be made on a WHO website. Anyone can put forward serious ideas there. On Friday evening, a proposal was submitted from Canada this week to call the disease – Monkeypox in English – Mpox.

The virus itself will also be given a new name. An independent expert council (ICTV) is responsible for this, which has not yet taken a decision. According to the experts, there are two more subgroups in subgroup II, which are now classified as IIa and IIb.

WHO proposal website


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