Monkeypox strains get new names to avoid increased African stigma
Two new strains of the Monkeypox virus have been relabeled as a result of discriminatory behavior against African citizens around the globe.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has renamed two monkeypox strains with Roman numerals to avoid unnecessary attention to African countries.
Renaming to counteract discrimination
According to the WHO, the decision was made after a group of global virologists and public health experts reached a consensus on the new terminology this week. This came after Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus disclosed that the organization would work on new names for the monkeypox virus to get rid of the "discriminatory and stigmatizing" nomenclature against Africans, who are already facing difficulties seeking medical care as a result of this.
The organization said on Friday that Roman numerals will now be used for two clades (or strains) of monkeypox: the former Congo Basin (Central African) clade will be referred to as Clade one (I) and the former West African clade as Clade two (II). With Clade II consisting of two subclades (or substrains), lower-case alphanumeric characters will be used to differentiate.
Recently, the EU has approved the use of the smallpox vaccine to protect from the monkeypox virus, which is transmitted through contaminated material and skin-to-skin contact.
See this: Monkeypox: Should you be worried?