Getting monkeypox might be bad, but possibly worse would be enduring an affliction with a nasty name. As for the malady of a menacing moniker, we’re all fortunately and finally guaranteed to be infection-free.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization made an important announcement: It’s officially renamed the virus that has infected more than 1,600 people worldwide. In selecting an all-new arrangement of letters, Earth will be purged of the virus of racism.
More than 30 international scientists put their heads together and concocted a cure for what ails us. From the document “Urgent Need for a Non-Discriminatory and Non-Stigmatizing Nomenclature for Monkeypox Virus”:
The prevailing perception in the international media and scientific literature is that MPXV is endemic in people in some African countries. However, it is well established that nearly all MPXV outbreaks in Africa prior to the 2022 outbreak, have been the result of spillover from animals to humans and only rarely have there been reports of sustained human-to-human transmissions. In the context of the current global outbreak, continued reference to, and nomenclature of this virus being African is not only inaccurate but is also discriminatory and stigmatizing.
It’s about addressing the obvious:
The most obvious manifestation of this is the use of photos of African patients to depict the pox lesions in mainstream media in the global north. Recently, Foreign Press Association, Africa issued a statement urging the global media to stop using images of African people to highlight the outbreak in Europe.
Time to fix Fake News:
[T]here is an increasing narrative in the media and among many scientists that are trying to link the present global outbreak to Africa or West Africa, or Nigeria. … [T]he use of geographical labels for strains of MPXV, specifically, references to the 2022 outbreak as belonging to the “West African” or “Western African” clade, strain, or genotype. … We therefore believe that a nomenclature that is neutral, non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing will be more appropriate for the global health community.
What’s in a name? In our enlightened era, everything:
The World Health Organization is keeping with the times. Hence, per CNN, it’s a whole new world:
[WHO] announced Monday that “mpox” is now the preferred name for monkeypox.
“Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while ‘monkeypox’ is phased out,” the organization said.
The Biden administration said they “welcome the change” and the US will use the mpox name “from this point forward.”
Some will surely praise the move. Select others might possibly propose that it’s ridiculous at best, insulting at worst, and a shame we still know what the “M” stands for.
No matter, where wokeness is concerned, America can’t be monkeying around. So out with monkeypox, in with mpox.
Well — hopefully, not literally…
MPV & Safer Sex: Learn more about the things you can do to protect yourself and others against monkeypox (MPV) ⬇️
— Cook County Department of Public Health (@CookCoHealth) December 6, 2022
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