According to the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday, coronavirus, earlier dubbed as 2019-nCOV, now will be known as SARS-CoV-2. The disease that is caused due to SARS-CoV-2 will be known as COVID-19, with ‘CO’ representing corona, ‘VI’ representing virus and lastly ‘D’ for disease. The figure ‘19’ stands for the year in which the outbreak first took place.
Although coronavirus is the name that was commonly used to describe the disease so far, it was largely misleading. That’s because coronaviruses basically are a viral sub-family which includes several different viruses, starting from cold to fatal MERS pathogen.
Hence, the naming of diseases and disease-causing pathogens was of utmost importance. Use of particular names prevents stigmatization and inaccuracy.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom, the director-general of WHO took to speak in a press meet. Adhanom explained how the team stuck to go for a better name. WHO’s World Organization for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture prevented the use of locations in the name. Furthermore, the name was expected to be more relatable and pronounced.
Notably, the disease has resulted in over 1000 deaths in China along with over 40,000 infected people.
The coronavirus outbreak emerged from one of the seafood markets in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Located in the province of Hubei, the city has been under scrutiny ever since as the disease spreads. Although immense efforts have been put in by the health officials, the death and infection toll are still on a rise.
Furthermore, about 108 deaths have been reported from mainland China along with cases 2,478 in number. One death has been reported from Hong Kong and the Philippines respectively.
Moreover, to combat the new disease, officials have been taking inspiration from SARs. The health officials have been trying to come up with a preventive measure for the same.