Home / Science / Health /  WHO confirms renaming monkeypox to 'MPOX'

The World Health Organization announced Monday that monkeypox will be renamed MPOX in English to avoid stigma associated with the current name. The virus that causes monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 in Danish research monkeys, hence the name "monkeypox," but the illness can affect a variety of animals, with rodents being the most commonly affected.

"Following a series of consultations with global experts, WHO will begin using a new preferred term 'MPOX' as a synonym for monkeypox. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while 'monkeypox' is phased out," the UN health agency said in a statement.

It further stated, that, "WHO will adopt the term MPOX in its communications, and encourages others to follow these recommendations, to minimise any ongoing negative impact of the current name and from adoption of the new name."

The disease was first identified in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and since then, human transmission has mainly been confined to a small number of endemic West and Central African nations.

However, in May, cases of the illness, which causes fever, aches in the muscles, and large skin lesions that resemble boils, started to spread quickly throughout the world, mostly among men who have sex with other men.

Earlier US based newspaper The Politico had reported that the EHO) wanted to rename monkeypox to "MPOX" in an effort to de-stigmatize the virus.

This year, 110 countries have reported 81,107 cases and 55 fatalities to the WHO.

(With inputs from AFP)

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