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U.S. urged to rename monkeypox for tolerant reasons

Earlier, the head of WHO had already made such a proposal.

Earlier, the head of WHO had already made such a proposal.

A photo: REUTERS

New York Health Commissioner asks WHO to rename monkeypox and choose a more appropriate and tolerant name for it. Ashwin Wasan observed that the very name of the disease, “monkeypox” can have a “destructive and stigmatizing effect” primarily on black and colored patients.

“We call on the WHO to take immediate action to rename the monkeypox virus. We are increasingly concerned about the potentially stigmatizing effect that messages about the monkeypox virus could have on vulnerable communities,” wrote in his Twitter Vasan.

According to him, some patients, infected with monkeypox, may be embarrassed to seek medical help for fear of being humiliated.

“Continuing to use the term ‘monkey pox’ to describe the current outbreak could reinvigorate racism and stigma, in particular against blacks and other people of color, as well as members of the LGBT community,” the commissioner said. He also recalled that at one time AIDS and coronavirus led to discrimination against certain groups of people and even representatives of some races.

“Monkeypox is a misnomer because the virus does not originate in monkeys. It was classified as such only because of an infection found in research primates,” the doctor recalled.

By the way, back in mid-June, WHO head Theodore Ghebreyesus called for the renaming “monkeypox”. The recommendations of the organization mean that when naming infections, it is better to avoid mentioning the names of animals, geographical toponyms, names of people, etc.

The announcement came after more than 30 scientists said the name of the disease could be discriminatory and therefore required a renaming. They recalled that at first the coronavirus was also associated exclusively with China, calling the infection “Chinese” or “Wuhan” and arguing that it was predominantly the representatives of the Mongoloid race who were ill with it.

Now WHO specialists are consulting on finding the optimal name.

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