December 6, 2022 — Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that they will recommend “mpox” as a new name for monkeypox disease. Starting this week, RHHD will begin transitioning all of our language and materials to the new name as well.
WHO is responsible for assigning names to new and existing diseases. As a result of racist and stigmatizing messages that resulted from the monkeypox moniker, WHO began to gather input from a range of experts and the public and decided on the new mpox name. WHO will begin using the new preferred term immediately, but both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out.
RHHD recommends adoption of “mpox” in all reporting and communications to prevent confusion and any further negative impact of the previous disease name.
About Richmond and Henrico Health Districts: RHHD are sister public health agencies serving Richmond’s and Henrico’s communities. Our mission is to expose and address the root causes of health disparities, protect health by preventing the spread of disease, and build health equity by partnering with communities and working collaboratively across sectors.