Monkeypox Disease Renamed
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today it would begin using the preferred term “Mpox” as a synonym for the monkeypox disease.
When the Mpox outbreak expanded in May 2022, several individuals and countries raised concerns and asked the WHO to propose a way to change the name.
Assigning names to new and existing diseases is the responsibility of WHO under the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the WHO Family of International Health-Related Classifications through a consultative process that includes WHO Member States.
In accordance with the ICD update process, the WHO held consultations to gather views from a range of experts, as well as countries and the general public, who were invited to submit suggestions for new names.
Based on these consultations and further discussions with WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO recommends the adoption of the new synonym Mpox in English for the disease.
Mpox will become a preferred term, replacing monkeypox, after a transition period of one year.
The synonym Mpox will be included in the ICD-10 online in the coming days.
Usually, the ICD updating process can take up to several years. However, the process was accelerated by following the standard steps.
And this change will be a part of the official 2023 release of ICD-11, the current global standard for health data, clinical documentation, and statistical aggregation.
The term “monkeypox” will remain a searchable term in ICD to match historical information.
“We welcome the change by the World Health Organization. We must do all we can to break down barriers to public health, and reducing stigma associated with the disease is one critical step in our work to end mpox,” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in a related press release.
Previously, the WHO agreed in August 2022 on new names for Mpox variants.
The consensus was reached to refer to the former Congo Basin (Central African) clade as Clade one (I) and the former West African clade as Clade two (II).
Additionally, it was agreed that Clade II consists of two subclades, IIa and IIb.
Recently, in the ‘2022 Monkeypox Outbreak: Global Trends’ report published by the WHO, there is a decreasing trend in the number of new Mpox cases reported globally.
According to the November 2022 report, most Mpox cases (91.9%) were reported in the Region of the Americas.
In the U.S., the two-dose, U.S. FDA-approved JYNNEOS® (IMVANEX®) vaccine remains available.
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