Monkeypox Variants Get New Names

While the process of renaming monkeypox is still underway, a group of global experts convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed that the virus’s variants will be renamed with Roman numerals.

This follows a meeting convened by the WHO this week to enable virologists and public health experts to reach consensus on new terminology, the global body announced on Friday.

Experts in pox virology, evolutionary biology and representatives of research institutes from across the globe reached consensus that the former Congo Basin (Central African) clade will be referred to as Clade one (I) and the former West African clade as Clade two (II). 

The group also agreed that Clade II consists of two subclades, which will be referred to as Clade IIa and Clade IIb.

Assigning new names to existing diseases is the responsibility of WHO under the International Classification of Diseases and the WHO is holding an open consultation for a new name for monkeypox. Anyone wishing to propose new names can do so here.

The naming of virus species is the responsibility of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), which also has a process underway for the name of the monkeypox virus. 


Image Credits: TRT World Now/Twitter .

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