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The Name Of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

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What is the correct name of 2019’s novel coronavirus and the disease it causes?

The coronavirus related illness that has been causing worldwide disruptions since the end of 2019 has been referred to by multiple names:

  1. Medical journals referred to it as “2019 Novel Coronavirus.”
  2. Nature called it both “Wuhan coronavirus” and “China coronavirus.”
  3. CNN reported on the “Wuhan coronavirus” in early February.
  4. Incompetent, racist dotards insist on calling it a “foreign virus” or “The Chinese Virus.”
  5. Sycophants and other racists laugh over “Kung-flu.”
  6. It is not the flu and it never has been. Influenza is caused by a completely different virus.

On 11 Feb 2020, the illness caused by the new coronavirus was named “Corovavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” by the World Health Organization.

On 02 March 2020, the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses, the officially named the virus that causes COVID-19 is “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).” The WHO chooses to avoid referring to SARS-CoV-2 by name because (emphasis mine):

From a risk communications perspective, using the name SARS can have unintended consequences in terms of creating unnecessary fear for some populations, especially in Asia which was worst affected by the SARS outbreak in 2003. 

For that reason and others, WHO has begun referring to the virus as “the virus responsible for COVID-19” or “the COVID-19 virus” when communicating with the public.  Neither of these designations are intended as replacements for the official name of the virus as agreed by the ICTV

In summary:

Referring to SARS-Cov-2 by any other name is incorrect.

Calling it “the Chinese Virus” or “the Wuhan Coronavirus” is stigmatizing at best and racist at worst.

Comparing COVID-19 to the common flu is just plain stupid.

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