WHO Announced "Monkeypox" Will Now Be Known as "Mpox"

Infection Control TodayInfection Control Today, January/February 2023, (Vol. 27, No. 1)
Volume 27
Issue 1

Because of negative connotations and stigma associated with the term "monkeypox," WHO will fade out the term and use "mpox" in its place.

World Health Organization announces mpox

(Adobe Stock)

This article first appeared on Contagionlive.com.

World Health Organization (WHO) announced it has recommended changing the name of monkeypox to mpox. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out.

The organization announced several months ago they were looking to rename the virus as it had some negative connotations and stigma associated with it. The WHO will adopt the term mpox in its communications and encourages others to follow these recommendations to minimize any ongoing negative impact of the current name and from adoption of the new name.

According to a WHO statement, the organization recommends the following:

  • 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. This serves to mitigate the concerns raised by experts about confusion caused by a name change in the midst of a global outbreak. It also gives time to complete the
  • International Classification of Diseases (ICD) update process and to update WHO publications.
  • The synonym mpox will be included in the ICD-10 online in the coming days. It will be a part of the official 2023 release of ICD-11, which is the current global standard for health data, clinical documentation, and statistical aggregation.
  • The term “monkeypox” will remain a searchable term in ICD, to match historic information.

Assigning names to new and, very exceptionally, to existing diseases is the responsibility of WHO under the ICD and the WHO Family of International Health Related Classifications through a consultative process, which includes WHO Member States.

WHO, in accordance with the ICD update process, 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.

Back in the summer, both the Biden Administration and the WHO declared monkeypox as public health emergencies as the incidence rates increased dramatically in different hot spots across the globe.

Although caseloads have been decreasing in the last several weeks, a public health concern remains as it is seemingly mysterious why the outbreak started earlier this year in the first place.

CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed a process to help clinicians secure an antiviral therapy, tecovirimat (Tpoxx), for monkeypox treatment. This falls under the expanded access investigational new drug (EA-IND). Clinicians can secure tecovirimat by going here.

Tecovirimat is manufactured by SIGA Technologies, and is approved for smallpox and is being studied for monkeypox treatment. Infection Control Today®’s sister brand, ContagionLive®spoke with SIGA Technologies Chief Scientific Officer Dennis Hruby, PhD, earlier this year about the therapy.

Related Videos
Andrea Flinchum, 2024 president of the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc (CBIC) explains the AL-CIP Certification at APIC24
Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology  (Image credit: APIC)
Lila Price, CRCST, CER, CHL, the interim manager for HealthTrust Workforce Solutions; and Dannie O. Smith III, BSc, CSPDT, CRCST, CHL, CIS, CER, founder of Surgicaltrey, LLC, and a central processing educator for Valley Health System
Jill Holdsworth, MS, CIC, FAPIC, CRCSR, NREMT, CHL, and Katie Belski, BSHCA, CRCST, CHL, CIS
Baby visiting a pediatric facility  (Adobe Stock 448959249 by Rawpixel.com)
Antimicrobial Resistance (Adobe Stock unknown)
Anne Meneghetti, MD, speaking with Infection Control Today
Patient Safety: Infection Control Today's Trending Topic for March
Infection Control Today® (ICT®) talks with John Kimsey, vice president of processing optimization and customer success for Steris.
Related Content