Why does coronavirus need to be named Covid-19?

According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the word “Co” stands for “corona”, “vi” for “virus” and “d” for “disease”.


On 11/2, WHO announced the new name of the coronavirus strain causing pneumonia is Covid-19. Prior to this official name, the coronavirus was once called many different names.

Coronavirus – 2019-nCoV is not a thorough call

Coronavirus is a term used by many international media or Chinese media in the period without an official name. The origin of this name is the structure similar to the new virus strain with previous diseases such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) or MERS (respiratory syndrome of the Middle East). Based on the same protein structure as SARS to 85%, the scientists used it as a basis for research into vaccines and new treatments for viral strains.

Why does coronavirus need to be named Covid-19?
Extract 3D images of Covid-19.

Coronavirus is really just a temporary name, covering many different strains of virus. They are referred to as crown-like viruses (such as SARS and MERS). Therefore, the invocation of corona virus (or coronavirus) does not reflect its properties and biological characteristics.

According to CDC statistics, there are four groups of coronaviruses called: alpha, beta, gamma and delta. Human coronaviruses were first found in the 1960s. Research shows that there are seven types of coronaviruses that can infect humans, namely:

  • Common corona virus strain: 229E (alpha coronavirus); NL63 (alpha coronavirus); OC43 (beta coronavirus); HKU1 (beta coronavirus).
  • Special corona virus strain: MERS-CoV (beta coronavirus causing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS); SARS-CoV (beta coronavirus causing severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS); 2019-nCoV (causes acute pneumonia).
Why does coronavirus need to be named Covid-19?
Covid-19 spread China and globally, causing more than 1,000 deaths

Before the Chinese government proposed a new name, WHO proposed using the provisional name of the new pneumonia as acute respiratory disease 2019-nCoV . According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, the symbol of 2019 implies the same meaning as naming a child born in 2019, CBC News quoted. However, this name is quite difficult to pronounce. Many people are still used to using the corona virus to indicate a new outbreak of pneumonia.

On February 8, China announced the provisional name of the disease during the period when WHO did not have an official name. Accordingly, the new name is abbreviated by the English name of coronary disease caused by corona virus: Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (NCP) , New York Times said.

After being issued, many Chinese media have used the term NCP to replace corona virus in order to have the most accurate view of the new disease outbreak.


It is necessary to name the new strain of coronavirus

When there was no official name, many places still called the new pneumonia with some names such as Wuhan pneumonia (Wuhan virus), Chinese pneumonia. This is like many other epidemics named after the geographic area where the virus was discovered in the 20th century. For example, the Spanish flu; Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever; Lyme for a town in Connecticut; Ebola for a river nearby.

Why does coronavirus need to be named Covid-19?
Covid-19 was named after WHO guidelines.

But regional naming has sparked major ethnic conflicts and inequalities in the community. The name of the disease is tied to countries and localities, although in many cases it is not really the origin of the disease.

The BBC reported on 11/2, the WHO announced to the world the official name of coronary pneumonia caused by Covid-19 . It is essential to distinguish this disease and to avoid confusion with other corona strains that have been detected or not yet detected in the future.

According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the word “Co” stands for “corona”, “vi” for “virus” and “d” for “disease”.


This name guarantees the criteria that WHO issued a new guideline for virus naming in 2015. Previously, this organization has been criticized for calling MERS as the Middle East respiratory syndrome. Or in the past names like Spanish flu, Rift Valley fever are considered to contribute to the stigma of countries or regions where the disease is occurring.

The WHO guidelines recommend that people should not be used to name diseases (e.g. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Chagas disease), animal names (swine flu, encephalitis), names that mean a culture or career (Legionnaires’ disease) or words that cause unnecessary fear (death …). These are to avoid global panic as well as to create an underground wave of racial discrimination.

Related Post: 5 Common Mistakes in Coronavirus Prevention

Preview Photo by Alisa

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