The World Health Organization (WHO) is ready to change the name of the monkeypox virus to “MPOX”.
The nomenclature change is an attempt to destigmatize the virus at the behest of President Biden’s administration, according to a Politico report that cited three unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter.
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The sources said that senior Biden officials have consistently urged the WHO to go through with the name change and have threatened to adopt new terminology without WHO approval.
According to the report, the Biden administration believes the name “monkeypox” carries unnecessary stigma for people of color.
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The monkeypox outbreak continues to represent a global health emergency, which is the WHO’s highest alert level, the UN agency’s Emergency Committee said in early November.
The WHO label, a “public health emergency of International Concern” is designed to trigger a coordinated international response and could unlock funds to help share vaccines and treatments.
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The United States has seen approximately 29,200 total monkeypox cases within its borders.
The CDC states: “At this time, data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up the majority of cases in the current outbreak of monkeypox. However, anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk Take steps to avoid contracting monkeypox If you have any symptoms of monkeypox, talk to a provider of medical care”.
Reuters contributed to this report.