The World Health Organization (WHO) has decided to rename monkeypox in an ongoing effort to discourage misconceptions and stigma around the zoonotic disease's current name. For this purpose, the United Nations health agency has created an open forum where suggestions can be submitted for the virus' new name.
The disease, which has now spread to more than 45 countries, and has in previous outbreaks been associated with rodents, is already been called by different names in some regions. For instance, in Chicago, US, the public health office uses the name 'MPV', Bloomberg reported.
The WHO has been in the process of renaming monkeypox since June alongside other efforts to urge the global community not to have any stereotypes around it. The zoonotic disease is disproportionately affecting men in sexual relationships with men and spreads via close contact.
In a statement issued on Friday, the WHO said the 'monkeypox' term was given after the virus's first discovery in 1958. However, after that, the current best practices in naming diseases and viruses were adopted.