WHO to rename monkeypox: 5 updates

The World Health Organization is accepting proposals to rename monkeypox in an effort to align with "current best practices" for naming diseases and avoid offense to any group. 

The agency in an Aug. 12 statement also said it had renamed two variants of the virus using Roman numerals, doing away with referring to them by the geographic region where they were known to circulate. The clade formerly known as Congo Basin is now Clade I and the West African clade is now Clade II. 

"Current best practice is that newly-identified viruses, related disease, and virus variants should be given names with the aim to avoid causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups, and minimize any negative impact on trade, travel, tourism or animal welfare," the WHO said. 

Four more recent updates: 

1. Confirmed U.S. cases have surpassed 11,000, according to CDC data as of Aug. 12. Globally, there have been nearly 32,000 cases. 

2. State health officials across the U.S. are frustrated with the government's vaccine distribution process, according to an Aug. 15 report from The New York Times. Officials in at least 20 states and jurisdictions reported issues with the federal distribution process, such as late shipments of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine, leading to unusable vaccines. Critics say part of what's driving the inefficiencies is monkeypox vaccines are being dispersed from the National Strategic Stockpile — which is overseen by an HHS agency — rather than the established ordering-based system run by the CDC.

3. A dog in France contracted monkeypox, evidence of the first case of human-to-animal transmission, researchers reported Aug. 10 in The Lancet. Twelve days after two household contacts in France began experiencing symptoms, lesions appeared on their Italian greyhound. The dog subsequently tested positive for the monkeypox virus. "Our findings should prompt debate on the need to isolate pets from monkeypox virus-positive individuals. We call for further investigation on secondary transmissions via pets," researchers said. 

4. San Francisco hospitals are hosting vaccine clinics, local ABC affiliate KGO-TV reported Aug. 14. Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Kaiser Permanente offered monkeypox vaccines over the weekend. Zuckerberg San Francisco Hospital's chief medical officer, Lukejohn Day, MD, said the hospital has been administering an average of 600 to 1,000 shots per day. 

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