The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it will now begin to use a new preferred term « mpox » as a synonym for monkeypox.
Following a series of consultations with global experts on using a preferred term for the disease, the WHO said in an official statement that both names will be used simultaneously for one year while « monkeypox » is phased out.
The racist and stigmatizing language was noticed and reported to WHO when the monkeypox outbreak grew earlier this year. These incidents occurred online, in other contexts, and in some communities. Several people and nations voiced their concerns and asked WHO to suggest a way forward to change the name in a number of public and private meetings.
Based on these consultations, and further discussions with WHO’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO recommended the adoption of the new synonym mpox in English for the disease, however, Mpox will become a preferred term, replacing monkeypox, after a transition period of one year.
Monkeypox: WHO announces 'mpox' to be used as synonym for the disease