WHO new names for Monkeypox Variants

Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) rechristened the variants of monkeypox virus that are currently in circulation. It was done to avoid any cultural or social offence. Monkeypox variant has been renamed as “Clades I, IIa and IIb”.

Key Points:

  • Phylogeny and nomenclature of known and new monkeypox virus variants or clades was reviewed by experts in pox virology and representatives of research institutes from worldwide.
  • Clades have been renamed using Roman numerals, on the recommendations of experts.
  • Former Congo Basin (Central African) clade has been renamed as Clade one (I) while the former West African clade has been renamed as Clade two (II). Clade II also comprises of two subclades.

About Monkeypox:

Monkeypox is an ongoing outbreak. First case of the viral disease was reported in May 2022 in the United Kingdom. First case was reported in individual with travel links to Nigeria. Monkeypox disease is endemic to Nigeria. For the first time, this disease is being reported outside Central and West Africa. It was declared a public health emergency of international concern on July 23, 2022. Monkeypox cases have been reported in over 80 countries. Considering this, the WHO has declared it as a global health emergency. The confirmed cases have reached over 32,000. In Delhi, 5 monkeypox cases have been reported.

Symptoms of monkeypox:

Monkeypox is a viral infection, that displays week or two after exposure with the virus. Common symptoms include fever, followed by rash with lesions. The lesions last for 2–4 weeks before falling off.



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