The name mpox, otherwise known as Mpox, was chosen after the WHO launched a public consultation process earlier this year.
Orlando Sentinel | Tribune News Service | Getty Images
The World Health Organization said on Monday it would start referring to monkeypox as mpox in a bid to reduce stigma around the virus’s name.
The two names will be used concurrently for a year while moneypox is phased out, the World Health Organization said in a post on its website, encouraging others to follow the new naming convention.
The decision comes after the name monkeypox – so named after it was first identified in monkeys – was criticized for adding racial and gender stigma.
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that has seen its largest global outbreak this year, spreading significantly in non-endemic countries outside West and Central Africa, and primarily among gay and bisexual men.
The name mpox was chosen after the WHO launched a public consultation process earlier this year, opening up a process usually reserved for a technical committee behind closed doors.
Poxy McPoxface, TRUMP-22 and mpox were among the names submitted.
The WHO said it hoped the chosen name mpox would “minimize any continued negative impact of the current name”.
The name mpox was proposed by the men’s health organization Rezo. Its manager said at the time that he hoped removing the monkey images would help people take the health emergency seriously.
More than 81,000 cases of monkeypox and 55 deaths have been reported in 110 countries so far this year, according to the WHO.