The infamous coronavirus that has killed more than 1000 people has now an official name that is Covid-19. This was announced in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) tweet on 11th February. The name is an abbreviated version of coronavirus disease 2019.
According to WHO, they wanted a name that does not refer to any geographical location, an animal, an individual or a group of people. They also made sure it was pronounceable and related to the disease. This decision was taken based on the guidelines agreed between the WHO and the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
? BREAKING ?
"We now have a name for the #2019nCoV disease:
I’ll spell it: C-O-V-I-D hyphen one nine – COVID-19"pic.twitter.com/Kh0wx2qfzk
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 11, 2020
WHO also said that having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that could be wrong or cause stigmatization. It further provides a standard format that could be used for any future coronavirus outbreaks.
Though the virus is referred to as novel coronavirus by the WHO, the original name of the virus is 2019-nCov. The virus has even been referred to as new coronavirus or 2019 coronavirus by the media. In most cases, the media, as well as the public, majorly called it just coronavirus.
It has not been made clear that of someone who has mild symptoms could be considered to have COVID-19 or whether the disease only refers to more severe cases. However, according to the WHO’s technical guidance, a person is infected with COVID-19 if he/she has laboratory confirmation of 2019-nCOv infection whether or not he/she shows any sort of clinical signs and symptoms.
One of the few well-known coronavirus disease outbreak cause in 2003 by another coronavirus was named SARS which was the short form of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. one more coronavirus that occasionally infects people and causes illness could be MERS which is an abbreviation of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.
The new name has few problems too as it might not be accepted by an audio cable manufacturing company Covid which is based in Tempe Arizona. The company refused to comment on the issue.