As of November 28, 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the use of the term “mpox” as the preferred terminology for monkeypox. This change aims to reduce stigmatizing language surrounding the disease. 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 which includes WHO Member States.
Following this announcement, the Virginia Department of Health has accepted this change of terminology and has begun updating its webpages to align with the new terminology. VDH 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.
Read more about the WHO announcement here.