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The Guardian view on monkeypox: communication is crucial | Editorial



Language has a vital part to play in virus control. The World Health Organization should monitor it, as well as case numbers

Another month, another virus. No sooner does some of the world appear to have made an uneasy peace with Covid than along comes monkeypox, an unpleasant but, for most people, not fatal blistering disease caused by a virus that is common in parts of west and central Africa, but has only recently made its way in significant numbers to regions where it is not endemic. It has been recorded in at least 20 countries in the past month, from the Americas to Europe and Australia, with cases recently confirmed in Wales and Scotland, as well as England.

If it continues to spread, it will put yet more pressure on hard-pressed health services. Efficient management in the community is vital, with people unafraid to come forward if they believe they are infected. Language has an important role to play, with the UN’s Aids agency warning last month that racist and homophobic rhetoric risks stigmatising the disease and undermining the response.


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