Why monkeypox needs a different name and why the WHO ignores its own rules

Why monkeypox needs a different name and why the WHO ignores its own rules

Have you ever heard of MPXV? It’s short for monkeypox. They belong to the genus Orthopoxvirus, in the Chordopoxvirinae subfamily of smallpox viruses, and are currently on the increase. In fact, they shouldn’t even exist. At least in name and if the World Health Organization (WHO) had been serious with its own recommendations from May 2015. Among other things, they claim that animal species are taboo as godfathers of disease. Given as a negative example: Monkeypox.

The term evokes false associations. Especially since monkeys are not the main carriers of the virus, they only occasionally act as false hosts. Rodents transmit smallpox. But Rodentpox doesn’t sound any better either, reminiscent of rats, epidemics, danger, and such lofty innuendoes should be avoided at all costs, the WHO recommended seven years ago. The following should therefore also not be used: unknown, deadly, deadly or epidemic.

By the standards of global health watchdogs, the African swine flu is completely out of the ordinary, although it is repeatedly referred to as such in connection with outbreaks in Brandenburg, for example. Besides the animal species, the term also contains a geographical definition which, according to the WHO, is generally inappropriate.

The recommendation came too late to prevent another bad habit: there was a time when syphilis was known in Germany as a French disease, in Poland as a German disease, and in Russia as a Polish disease. Pointing fingers at your neighbors accusingly has a long tradition. Sometimes this should even happen within a country, although it is very doubtful whether, for example, the Marburg hemorrhagic fever of Häme in relation to the city of Hesse is called so.

What will monkeypox be called in the future?

Fortunately, the Wuhan virus name could not be accepted and is now called Corona or, more correctly, Sars-Cov-2, i.e. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Type 2. Spanish and Russian flu, on the other hand, cannot get rid of their nickname, although they have long been known, have faded. One of the peculiarities of the WHO recommendations is that the name valley fever is allowed, but the synonym San Joaquin Valley fever is not.

If it were up to the international organization alone, Creutzfeldt-Jakob and Alzheimer would have long had different names because they are personal names. On the other hand, adjectives that include certain groups of people are allowed. For example, senile in senile or juvenile bed escape in juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Designations of subgroups of pathogens are also harmless, in the case of the politically correct corona, for example, using the Greek letters alpha, delta, omicron. They replace incorrect paraphrases such as Indian, South African or Brazilian variants.

However, it is said that there has been resistance to Pi in China because it is a common name there. With BA1 to 5, on the other hand, no one feels personally attacked. And what will happen to monkeypox? The WHO will soon decide what it wants to call the virus in the future. MPXV is not suitable. MP stands for Monkeypox.

#monkeypox #ignores #rules

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