Coronavirus: Disease has been officially named - here's what it is called
THE new coronavirus has been officially named by the World Health Organisation.
It has been called Covid-19 and this stands for Coronavirus disease 2019.
Unlike previous outbreaks of diseases such as Swine flu, Spanish flu or Ebola, it has not been named after a geographical location or an animal.
This is to avoid ‘stigmatisation’ the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
The official name of the coronavirus outbreak was announced in a press conference held in Geneva.
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a name was decided that ‘did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease’.
He said: ‘Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatising.
'It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.’
The coronavirus which caused the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak is known as Sars-CoV, while the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus was called Mers-CoV.
WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan added: ‘It's important to have a name for this disease that everybody uses.
‘Both for scientific purposes, and also to avoid a number of different stigmatising or other forms of confusing names.’