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WHO renames disease variants that are stigma

WHO renames disease variants that are stigma

Instead of African region names, the WHO will use Roman numerals to qualify variants of monkeypox.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Friday that it has renamed the variants monkey pox… these new variable names (Roman numerals replace the names of African regions) make it possible to observe the current reality of the disease. While this has long been limited to ten African countries, the vast majority of new cases this year have been detected elsewhere in the world, particularly in the United States, Europe and Brazil.

In a press release, the World Health Organization also indicated that it is conducting an extensive online advisory process to change the name of the disease, which is also considered misleading and discriminatory, given that the virus is not only associated with monkeys, but has been demonstrated in many animals, in particular rodents.

misleading name

As for the variants, also called clades, they have so far been named after the regions or countries of Africa, with the West African strain and the Congo Basin (Central Africa) strain, the second being much more deadly than its cousin.

At the beginning of June, about thirty scientists, many of them from Africa, wrote a forum to demand that these names be changed, deeming it urgent to put a “non-discriminatory, no stigma” label.

They were heard by the World Health Organization, which brought together virologists and public health experts on August 8 to reach consensus on the new terminology.

“Consensus has been reached on the classification of the former Congo (Central Africa) basin as Category I (first) and the former West African band as Category II (II),” the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Furthermore, “It has been agreed that clade II consists of two subgroups. (…) Thus, the new naming convention includes clade I, clade IIa, and clade IIb, the latter referring primarily to the group of widely circulated variants. widespread in a global pandemic in 2022.” The new clade names become effective immediately.

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