The World Health Organization will go ahead with the request to change the name of the virus and variants of monkeypox. The information was provided by BBCafter announcing the emergency meeting scheduled for next week, where they will discuss whether this outbreak is an international emergency.
Although advance World Health Organization (WHO), the official changes are not made by this entity, but by the International Committee on Classification of Viruses. However, as with covid-19, the WHO can communicate by name, keeping the official designation unchanged.
The news also comes after 29 researchers, including four Portuguese, published a request to change the name of the virus and its variants and propose new nomenclature.
These requests for changes arise mainly because of the naming of variables monkeypox (monkeypox or VMPX) As “West Africa” or “Congo Basin”, referring to the African continent – which is inaccurate, despite the variants found mainly in these regions.
On Wednesday, there are already more than 1,900 confirmed cases in countries where the virus is not normally present. Portugal has 241 infected people.
What do the researchers suggest?
Last weekend, 29 researchers who shared the genetic sequencing of monkeypox virus posted on the Scientific Discussion Forum. viral Request to change the label of the virus and variants.
The authors suggest that there should be three different types of VMPX. Thus, instead of the West African variable and the Congo Basin variable, variable 1 (corresponding to the current Congo Basin), variable 2 and 3 (both related to West Africa) will be specified. In the case of the latter two, the creation of a new variant reflects the transition between humans. That is, variant 3 includes viruses in human outbreaks in 2017, 2018, and 2022.
In addition to this change, it is also suggested to change from VMPX to hVMPX. That is, for the outbreak since 2017 (in the UK, Israel, Nigeria, US, Singapore and the current outbreak), it is suggested that the letter “h” for humans be included in the label.
“Because viruses of this variant are transmitted person-to-person in dozens of countries and possibly over many years, we suggest that this represents a different route of transmission than previous cases of VMPX in humans, and should therefore have a different name.” , Point.
The researchers add that the different nomenclature will facilitate communication without creating negative connotations through language.
In the published text, it is mentioned that VMPX It is not regularly transmitted from person to person on the African continent and naming the virus is not only inaccurate, but discriminatory and stigmatizing.
“We believe that neutral, non-discriminatory, and non-stigmatizing terms would be more appropriate for the global health community,” they wrote.
Among the signatories to this request were Joana Isidro, Joao Paulo Gómez, Miguel Pinto, Vitor Borges, and researchers at the National Institute of Saudi Arabia Dotor Ricardo Jorge (INSA).
“While the official name of virus species falls within the purview of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, we believe this is an opportunity to abandon the name monkeypox and their historical connections,” they conclude.
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