Monkeypox rebranded over concerns name could be construed as racist

Monkeypox rebranded over concerns name could be construed as racist

Monkeypox infection: BLACKDAY/shutterstock

Monkeypox, the virus that recently affected the homosexual community, is being rebranded by the World Health Organisation.

Announced on Monday, November 28, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it would be phasing out the use of the name given its connotations and potential for being considered racist.

The virus whose symptoms include rashes, fevers, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion and headaches, had spread across Europe and North America after taking foot among the homosexual population.

Although generally not severe, in some cases patients had to be hospitalised. But an international collaboration between clinicians from more than 16 countries, has helped to identify and stem the growth in infections.

The UK reported in October that the country appeared to be winning the battle against the virus although vaccines were limited in supply. Professor Neil Ferguson warned the virus, which originated in tropical jungles of Africa, could resurge if the local populace becomes complacent.

The virus, which will in future be known as Mpox, has affected more than 80,000 people worldwide according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The use of the name Monkeypox which is to be rebranded will be phased out over the next year.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at