Making the move to mpox

Posted on: December 9, 2022

What's in a name? Quite a bit, actually – and that's why Island Health is now referring to “mpox"  instead of “monkeypox."

This change follows a recent announcement from the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommends using the new and preferred term “mpox" following consultations with global experts.

As the announcement notes, concerns were raised with the WHO about racist and stigmatizing language that appeared online and elsewhere following the monkeypox outbreak earlier this year.

As a result, the WHO will use both terms simultaneously for a year while “monkeypox" is phased out. It will adopt “mpox" in its communications and encourages others to do the same.

“I support usage of the term 'mpox', in line with the WHO's recommendations," says Mike Benusic, a medical health officer at Island Health. “Doing so is yet another way that we can make people feel safe and provide them with care in an inclusive way."​