Geneva/London: Poxy McPoxface, TRUMP-22, or Mpox: These are some of the ideas received from the public when the World Health Organization was looking for a new name for monkeypox.

Disease names are often chosen privately by technical committees, but WHO has now decided to open the process to the public. After a slow start, we now have dozens of submissions from various contributors, including academics and doctors.

They range from technical (OPOXID-22 submitted by Harvard Medical School emergency physician Jeremy Faust) to farcical (submitted by Andrew Yi referring to Poxy McPoxface, Boaty McBoatface). vote for your choice).

There is increasing pressure for a new name for the disease. One reason he says is misleading is because monkeys are not the original animal hosts. A group of leading scientists have published papers calling for a “neutral, non-discriminatory and non-blaming” name amid concerns that the name could be used in racist ways. I wrote this in June.

Until this year, monkeypox was endemic only in some countries, mainly in West and Central Africa.

WHO spokesperson Fadela Chive said Tuesday: “Finding a new name for monkeypox is critically important. This is to ensure that ethical groups, communities, countries, animals, etc. are not offended. Because it’s the best way.

“WHO is very concerned about this issue and would like to find a name that will not stigmatize it,” she added, without giving a timeline.

One of the most popular suggestions so far is Mpox, suggested by Samuel Miriello, director of men’s health organization RÉZO, who has already used the name in an outreach campaign in Montreal, Canada.

“People seem to understand more quickly that when you remove the monkey image, you have created an emergency that needs to be taken seriously,” he told Reuters.

Another proposal, TRUMP-22, appeared to refer to former President Donald Trump’s use of the controversial term “Chinese virus” for the new coronavirus, but its authors called it “the year 2022.” “a toxic rash of unrecognized and mysterious origin”.

WHO has the authority to assign new names to existing diseases based on the International Classification of Diseases. Already renamed monkeypox virus subspecies or clades, changing African regions to Roman numerals.

The WHO said it would decide among proposals “according to their scientific validity, acceptability, pronounceability[and]their ability to be used in different languages”.

“I’m sure you won’t come up with a silly name,” Chive said.

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 and named after the animal that first showed symptoms. WHO declared the current outbreak a public health emergency last month, reporting more than 32,000 cases from more than 80 countries.

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