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article imageCoronavirus: The viral disease is finally given a name

By Tim Sandle     Feb 11, 2020 in Science
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which has been making headlines around the world, has been named by scientists: Covid-19. This name has been accepted as official by the World Health Organization.
Until now the the human pathogen has been tentatively named 2019-nCoV. The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, which classifies viruses, named the pathogen: coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), due to the virus being closely related to Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS), with the '2' denoting the second form of SARS. he two viruses differ slightly at the genetic level and are connected with independent zoonotic transmission (the animal-to-human path of transmission). The coronavirus associated with human infection is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
However, linking the virus to SARS, a pathogen that was identified in 2003 and which made headlines around this time, is thought to be to confusing for the general population.
Speaking with the BBC, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva said: "We now have a name for the disease and it's Covid-19."
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A further reason for adopting v is to avoid any connection with any particular country or region (where lessons have been learned about the Ebola virus and the stigmatization that this designation has attracted to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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In terms of how Covid-19 came about, this is a truncation of the words "corona", "virus" and "disease"; with 2019 representing the year that that the virus emerged in Wuhan, China.
The decision on the naming of the virus was based on guidelines agreed between WHO, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, according to New Scientists magazine.
More about coronavirus, Virus, Covid19
 
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