WHO renames Monkeypox over racism concerns

Henceforth, Monkeypox will be referred to as ‘mpox’.

The renaming of the disease by the World Health Organization, WHO, comes after health experts pushed for a ‘non-racist and discriminatory’ term for it following a global surge of cases.

Groups claimed that the term ‘Monkeypox’ was racist because of the ‘long history of referring to black people as monkeys’.

Despite the name change, the WHO says ‘mpox’ would be used simultaneously with monkeypox for one year. Thereafter, monkeypox would be phased out.

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The WHO has urged other medical organisations and the media to adopt the new name as well.

Head of World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, previously confirmed that the body had been are in conversation with experts on changing the name for monkeypox.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus.

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It was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. But ultimately, the source of the disease remains unknown.

The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Symptoms are usually similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder. The most obvious symptom is a rash near the genitals, hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. Others symptoms are fever, chills, exhaustion, muscle aches, headaches, sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough.

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Although most patients recover from the disease within a few weeks without treatment, it can prove fatal.

Monkeypox kills up to 10 per cent of people it infects.

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