After a group of scientists released a document in June positioning itself in favor of a name that was “neutral, non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing”, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday opened an open consultation for set a new name for monkeypox. In general, disease names are chosen by a technical committee, but this time the process will be different.
“Anyone from the public, academia or civil society is welcome to propose new names. There is a platform on the WHO website where people can suggest names,” the organization’s spokeswoman, Fadela Chaib, said in an interview. UN collective.
The WHO said it would decide between proposals “according to their scientific validity, acceptability, pronounceability (and) whether they can be used in different languages”.
One of the strong arguments for carrying out the change is because the current name is misleading, since monkeys are not the original host of the virus. Until this year, monkeypox was mainly spread in a group of countries in West and Central Africa.
Dozens of submissions have already been made by a range of contributors, including academics, doctors and a gay community activist. Poxy McPoxface, TRUMP-22 or Mpox are two suggestions submitted by the public.
Suggestions range from the technical (OPOXID-22, introduced by emergency physician Jeremy Faust of Harvard Medical School) to the ridiculous (Poxy McPoxface, introduced by Andrew Yi in allusion to Boaty McBoatface — which was almost the name of a British polar research vessel after a popular vote).
“It is very important that we find a new name for monkeypox, because this is the best practice to not create any offense to an ethnic group, region, country, animal, etc.,” concluded Chaib.