In a tweet earlier today, The World Health Organization (WHO) announced the official name of the deadly coronavirus — sometimes referred to as the Wuhan virus as it originated in Wuhan, China. The deadly virus has now been officially titled COVID-19.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has served as the director-general of WHO since 2017, said in a later tweet that they were careful to find an easy-to-pronounce name that didn’t refer to a particular location, group of people, or even animal in order to avoid creating a stigma toward any particular group.
The name will also begin standard formatting for naming any future coronavirus outbreaks, Tedros clarified in another tweet. The COVID-19 coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 people in China, and has more than 43,000 confirmed cases globally, the Hill reported. As of Monday, Feb. 10, there are 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, ABC reported.
The word COVID was created as a combination of the key sounds and letters in the words “corona” “virus” and “disease,” BBC reported.
Having a particular name for the COVID-19 coronavirus is important, as it isn’t the only strain of coronavirus, CNBC reported. In fact, various coronaviruses are quite common, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist of WHO, told CNBC.