What ’s in a Name? Why WHO’s Formal Name for the New Coronavirus Disease Matters

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an official name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19 — making sure not to reference Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus originated. COVID-19 stands for Corona Virus Disease 19. “Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing,” said Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.” The WHO referenced guidelines set in 2015 that ensure the name does not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, while still being pronounceable and related to the disease. "Under agreed guidelines between WHO, the @OIEAnimalHealth &@FAO, we had to find a name 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"-@DrTedros #COVID19 — World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) February 11, 2020 Public health experts agree with the choice not to name the disease after a geographic region in China. If the new name had included a reference to Wuhan it would put a “tremendous stigmatization on the people of Wuhan who are the victims” of the disease, Wendy Parmet, a law professor at Northeastern University and public health expert, tells TIME. “People tend to think of the disease as belonging to, ...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 onetime Source Type: news

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