The WHO (World Health Organization) gave, this Friday (12), new names to the two known variants of the monkeypox virus, which causes monkeypox, a disease for which it is also seeking a new name to combat the stigma involved in identification of a pathology with an animal species, country or region.
The variant known as Congo Basin (Central Africa) will be called clade or subtype 1, and the West African variant, clade or subtype 2, and two subvariants of the latter will be identified as clade 2a and clade 2b.
A clade is a grouping of organisms that contains an ancestor common to all its descendants.
These denominations were proposed by a group of scientists convened by the WHO, among which were virologists, specialists in evolutionary biology and specialists in other areas from institutions in different parts of the world.
Now this group of experts continues to analyze what would be the best name to replace “monkeypox”, so called because the virus was first identified in 1958 among monkeys used for studies in Denmark.
The WHO has opened a public consultation so that people can propose neutral names for this disease.
A spokeswoman for the organization said today that numerous proposals had been received, several of them “very interesting”. It is unknown whether experts have a deadline for proposing a new name.
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