Rather than names of African regions, the World Health Organization will use Roman numerals to qualify variants of monkeypox.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Friday that it has renamed monkeypox variants. disease. While this was for a long time limited to a dozen African countries, the vast majority of new cases were detected this year elsewhere in the world, in particular in the United States, Europe and Brazil.
In a press release, the WHO also indicates that it is conducting a broad online consultative process to change the name of the disease, also deemed misleading and discriminatory, since the virus is not linked only to monkeys but has been demonstrated in many animals, especially rodents.
A misleading name
As for the variants, also called clades, they were named until now after regions or countries in Africa, with the strain from West Africa and that from the Congo Basin (Central Africa ), the second being much more deadly than its cousin.
At the beginning of June, around thirty scientists, many from Africa, wrote a forum to ask to change these names, deeming it urgent to put in place “a nomenclature that is neither discriminatory nor stigmatizing.”
They were heard by the WHO, which brought together virologists and public health experts on August 8 to reach a consensus on a new terminology.
“A consensus has been reached to designate the former Congo Basin (Central Africa) clade as clade one (I) and the former West African clade as clade two (II),” it said. the WHO on Friday.
Further, “it was agreed that clade II consists of two subclades. (…) Thus, the new naming convention includes clade I, clade IIa and clade IIb, the latter referring primarily to the group of variants that are circulating widely in the global epidemic of 2022,” the WHO added. The new clade names take effect immediately.
Source: BFM TV