Iran identifies first case of monkeypox

World Health Organisation is calling on the public to help change the name of the virus

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Iran has identified its first case of monkeypox after a woman in the city of Ahvaz tested positive, agencies reported on Tuesday.

It comes as the World Health Organisation called on the public to help change the name of the virus.

The case in Iran was reported by the semi-official Fars agency. The patient, 34, was “immediately quarantined” and after final tests she is now staying at home, said another agency, Isna.

Iran was the first country in the Middle East to report cases of the coronavirus.

But monkeypox, now considered by the WHO as an epidemic, has already been reported in Lebanon, Morocco and the UAE.

Experts have also recently issued a warning that the disease can spread to pets.

A report from France last week showed that a dog was infected with the virus. It's owners said it had been allowed to sleep on their bed.

The animal, an Italian greyhound, developed skin lesions and was later diagnosed with the virus.

Last week, the WHO said monkeypox spreads through human-to-human contact. It appealed to people not to hurt animals, after primates were attacked in Brazil following a surge in cases there.

Calls to change name of disease

The WHO is also calling on the public to help change the name of the virus to “align the names of the monkeypox disease, virus and variants with current best practices”.

People are able to submit proposals through a website set up by the organisation.

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

Monkeypox has been known to doctors since at least the 1970s and has been a serious challenge in Africa for years.

With only a limited global supply of vaccines, authorities are racing to stop the spread of the disease.

Updated: August 17, 2022, 11:27 AM