Monkeypox: The WHO wants to rename the disease… This is how monkeypox variants should now be called

The WHO said in a statement that it has renamed the variants of monkeypox so that these names are no longer stigmatizing.

“A group of global experts convened by WHO has agreed on new names for monkeypox virus variants,” the World Health Organization said in a statement.

The monkeypox virus was named when it was first discovered in 1958, before “current best practices in disease and virus naming were adopted,” the WHO says. So far, variants have been identified by the geographic regions where they were known to circulate.

Do not offend social, ethnic or geographical groups

But for the WHO, “related diseases and virus variants should be given names in order to avoid offending cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups and to minimize any negative impact on trade. , travel, tourism or animal welfare”.

The disease does not change its name for the moment, the consultation is still in progress to find a name that will not involve monkeys knowing that the disease has also been developed in rodents.

Place at the Clades

But it is the variants (also called clade) that have been renamed by the WHO. Until now, these variants were named according to the geographical area where they were discovered. They will now be designated according to a clade followed by a Roman numeral.

Thus, the old Congo Basin (Central Africa) clade will henceforth be known as Clade (I) and the old West African clade as Clade (II).
This Clade (II) is further broken down into two subgroups: Clade (IIa) and Clade (IIb).

This last clade is important since it refers to the group of variants responsible for the global epidemic of 2022.

ud83dudccc WHO names #monkeypox variants as Clades I, IIa & IIb. Experts in pox virology, evolutionary biology & representatives of research institutes from across the globe reviewed the phylogeny & nomenclature of known & new monkeypox virus variants or cladeshttps://t.co/2KVxkVqxCr pic.twitter.com/Y1gqVkRhKX

— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) August 13, 2022

The new clade names are to take effect immediately, says the WHO as work continues on the name of the disease. Proposals are to be made by following this link.

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