Friday, November 25, 2022

WHO is poised to rename monkeypox as “MPOX”

A woman receives a dose of monkeypox vaccine in New Orleans, Aug. 13. Lan Wei/Xinhua via Getty

The Virus Formerly Known as Monkeypox

WHO is poised to rename monkeypox as “MPOX,” Politico reports

The Biden administration reportedly urged the agency to hurry up on the name change—for which WHO sought suggestions over the summer—amid concerns of deepening stigma.

Calling out the name: Scientists and LGBT activists had also argued for months that the monkeypox name is imprecise and plays into racist stereotypes about Africa.

As the outbreak slows, research findings continue to reveal more about the virus:
  • Gay men were most at risk in this outbreak, but a first-of-its-kind Lancet study found that thousands of women and nonbinary people were infected—many of them without sexual contact—and that many cases were likely missed, the New York Times reports.  
  • When did it all begin? A Dutch preprint study found no evidence of widespread transmission before the first week of May—the same week the virus was flagged in the UK, Spain, and Portugal, CIDRAP reports
  • The vaccine works: A study by UK health officials estimated that a single dose of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine was 78% effective at protecting against infection 14+ days after vaccination, STAT reports.

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