W.H.O. Will Rename ‘Monkeypox’ To Remove Stigma, Racism

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) announced that it will rename the monkeypox virus to alleviate the stigma and racism associated with the word. Arguing for an urgent need for a non-discriminatory and non-stigmatizing nomenclature for the monkeypox virus, the proposed name change comes after 30 scientists signed an open letter last week which stated –

“In the context of the current global outbreak, continued reference to, and nomenclature of this virus being African is not only inaccurate but is also discriminatory and stigmatizing,”… “As any other disease, it can occur in any region in the world and afflict anyone, regardless of race or ethnicity,” they continued “As such, we believe that no race or skin complexion should be the face of this disease,”

-30 Member Science Coalition

Breaking out in the United States this past May in Massachusetts, and possibly having originated in Canada, monkeypox has thus far infected over 1,600 people in more than two dozen countries.

The disease is mostly located in central and western Africa, often transmitting from animals (primates or rodents) to humans through a bite or scratch. Reportedly, monkeypox is a rare disease that was first detected among humans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. Though it sometimes spreads to other nations, this region is primarily endemic to the disease.

Spreading from person to person via large respiratory droplets in the air, the disease cannot travel more than a few feet, so two people would need to have prolonged close contact for the virus to pass from one human to another. Common symptoms are: fever, headache, fatigue and muscle aches along with the break out of blister like vesicles.

Asking Western media outlets, to avoid using images of Africans, when showing monkeypox, The Foreign Press Association, Africa – added that it was “disturbing” that media outlets would instantly use images of black skin when showing monkeypox.

U.S. Infections are usually identified among people who have recently traveled to countries where monkeypox is more commonly found. Only a few cases of monkeypox have been identified among Americans. However, in 2003, 47 confirmed and probable cases were reported in six U.S. states, the first human cases reported outside of Africa.
 
Occurring in July 2021, when a Texas resident returned from Nigeria, and also in November 2021 after a Maryland resident traveled to the same region, both of these events supplied the most recent nonendemic cases of the monkeypox in the U.S.. Now, according to the W.H.O. cases that are nonendemic are on the rise.

Regardless of any pending outbreak, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus ,W.H.O. Director-General, announced on Tuesday that the organization will be working with partners and experts from around the world on changing the name of the monkeypox virus, its biological roots, and the disease it causes. Though no new name has yet been announced, current W.H.O. guidelines omit viruses from being named after animals and geographic regions. According to reports, the organization will be consulting with experts in orthopoxviruses on more appropriate names.

According to Kaiser Health News, on May 23rd, 2022, President Joe Biden was reported to have shared-

“the smallpox vaccine is effective against monkeypox and the United States has enough of it. He also said it was unlikely that the U.S. would impose quarantine requirements on infected individuals” 

– Kaiser Health News

In the same report, COVID czar Ashish Jha said, he expects no widespread impact in the United States adding “I feel like this is a virus we understand.”

One way or the other, the sensitivity level of the general populous has globally gone off the deep end. Whether it is identifying where the virus comes from and / or showing a photo of an African national, with the virus – the public outcry is the same.

“How dare anyone be insensitive to the people that this virus attacks?”

Naturally, the circumstance has to be “racist” and is purportedly meant to injure or slander the person or persons being described. Just stating the facts or illustrating the truth of the matter is not possible any longer, especially when it concerns anyone of an ethnic nature that has black skin. So sad and so ridiculous.

…There are those who are so easily offended that they lose their ability to ever discern any truth, and this is often derived from a sort of frenzy by way of their own masked prejudice.” 

-Criss Jami, Healology

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