CDC Changes Monkeypox Terminology to Mpox
November 28, 2022
In support of the November 28, 2022 recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Health and Human Services (HHS), CDC will adopt “Mpox” as the term used to refer to monkeypox disease.
Human monkeypox was given its name in 1958, before the publication of WHO’s best practices in naming diseases was published in 2015. According to the WHO’s best practices, new disease names should be given with the aim to minimize unnecessary negative impact of names on trade, travel, tourism, or animal welfare, and avoid causing offense to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups.
U.S. leaders have been engaging with stakeholders on a regular basis regarding our shared concerns about this disease’s terminology and the urgent need for a change to a more appropriate name.
Moving forward, U.S. federal public health agencies, including CDC, will adopt the Mpox name in correspondence with the medical community and the public. This change from the WHO will enhance the U.S. response to Mpox by using a less stigmatizing term.
CDC encourages all partners to use the term Mpox in all documents, public facing communications, and correspondence.
Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH (he/him)
Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General, USPHS
Incident Manager, Mpox Response
Director, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention