Poxy McPoxface? TRUMP-22? WHO dismisses ‘ridiculous’ name submissions for monkeypox – National

Poxy McPoxface, TRUMP-22 or Mpox: here are some ideas submitted by the public to the World Health Organization as it searches for a new name for monkey smallpox.

Normally the disease name is chosen by a closed technical committee, but this time WHO decided to make the process open to the public. After a slow start, dozens submit has now been made from many contributors including academics, doctors and a gay community activist.

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They range from technical (OPOXID-22, submitted by Harvard Medical School emergency physician Jeremy Faust) to eccentric (Poxy McPoxface, submitted by Andrew Yi in reference to Boaty McBoatface – almost the name of a ship British polar research after publicly voting for the choice).

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Pressure is growing for a new name for the disease, in part because critics say it’s misleading, since monkeys are not the animals’ original hosts. A group of leading scientists wrote a paper in June calling for a name “neutral, non-discriminatory and non-discriminatory” amid concerns that the name could be used under racial discrimination.

Up until this year, monkeypox had mainly spread only in a few countries in west and central Africa.

WHO spokesperson, Fadela Chaib, said: “It is very important that we come up with a new name for monkeypox because this is the best method to not create any offense. for an ethical group, a region, a country, an animal, etc,” WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said on Tuesday.

“WHO takes this very seriously and we wanted to find a name that wouldn’t be discriminatory,” she added, without giving a timeline.

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One of the more popular submissions to date is Mpox, submitted by Samuel Miriello, director of men’s health organization RÉZO, which has used the name in outreach campaigns in Montreal, Canada.

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“When you delete the monkey, people seem to understand more quickly that there is an emergency that needs to be taken seriously,” he told Reuters.

Another proposal, TRUMP-22, appears to refer to former US President Donald Trump, who used the controversial term “Chinese virus” for the new coronavirus, even though its author said it stands for “Toxic Rash of Unrecognized Mysterious Provenance of 2022.”

The post mocking the gay community was previously posted but was later removed from the WHO page.

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WHO has the task of giving new names to existing diseases according to the International Classification of Diseases. It was renamed to monkeypox virus variants or subtypes, changing them from African regions to Roman Number.

The WHO said it will decide among the proposals “according to their scientific merit, acceptability, pronunciation (and) whether they can be used in different languages.”

“I’m sure we wouldn’t come up with a ridiculous name,” Chaib said.

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 and is named after the first animal to show symptoms. The 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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