Dhe disease monkey pox gets a new name: The World Health Organization (WHO) is now using the name Mpox instead of Monkeypox, as announced on Monday in Geneva.
Both names would stand side by side for a year before only Mpox would be used. The new name was chosen because it is easy to pronounce and use in other languages.
First discovered in monkeys in 1958
The virus itself is also to be given a new name. An independent expert council (ICTV) is responsible for this, which has not yet made a decision. As early as August, the names subgroup I and subgroup II were introduced for the two virus subgroups, which were named after African regions.
The disease was called monkeypox only because it was first discovered in monkeys in 1958. But monkeys have nothing to do with the outbreaks this year. Rather, people get infected through close physical contact with other people. Nevertheless, monkeys were attacked in Brazil this year because people blamed them for the outbreaks. In general, according to the specifications of WHO references to specific countries, regions or animals are avoided in names for diseases. The name should also be easy to pronounce.
Even after the outbreak of the then new type of corona virus in Wuhan in China, the WHO worked flat out on a neutral name to prevent names such as China virus or Wuhan virus from gaining acceptance. The disease caused by the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus is called Covid-19, an abbreviation of coronavirus disease. The 19 shows that the disease first emerged in 2019.
Hardly any more cases in Germany
According to the Robert Koch Institute, only a few people in Germany have been infected with monkeypox in the past few weeks. The numbers were already declining in the summer, and from mid-October only case numbers in the single digits were reported. According to current knowledge, the pathogen can only be transmitted through close contact. Most infections occurred in men who had sexual contact with other men. There were hardly any cases in women and children.