NY applauds renaming monkeypox as mpox

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 2:16 PM EST
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - New York health officials are applauding the World Health Organization for renaming monkeypox as mpox.

The U.N. health agency said in a statement Monday that mpox was its new preferred name for monkeypox, saying that both monkeypox and mpox would be used for the next year while the old name is phased out.

WHO said it was concerned by the “racist and stigmatizing language” that arose after monkeypox spread to more than 100 countries. It said numerous individuals and countries asked the organization “to propose a way forward to change the name.”

In a statement, the New York State and City Departments of Health said it will transition their printed and digital materials to the new name. “Our goal is to be as consistent as possible in the weeks and months ahead,” the statement said. “The words we use matter, and words can carry stigma.”

To date, more than 80,000 cases have been identified in dozens of countries that have not previously reported the smallpox-related disease.