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WHO Names Coronavirus Covid-19; Deaths Top 1,000

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WHO Names Coronavirus Covid-19; Deaths Top 1,000

The World Health Organization has officially dubbed the latest coronavirus strain “COVID-19” — a title likely appreciated by the Chinese community that previously lent its name.

"Under agreed guidelines between WHO, the World Organization for Animal Health & the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 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," WHO Director-General Tefros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a media briefing.

Rather than forever associate esteemed physicians (Parkinson’s Disease), places (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) or inaccurate risk groups (the 4H disease) with debilitating conditions, the groups determined in 2015 to name new diseases with “generic descriptive terms” reflecting symptoms, patients, environmental factors, pathogens or epidemiology.

“Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing,” Ghebreyesus said. “It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks.”

At the time of the press briefing, WHO counted 42,708 confirmed coronavirus cases with 1,017 deaths in China.

Outside China, 24 countries have tallied 393 cases and one death.

A UN Crisis Management Team is leading the global health response, and WHO is convening a two-day meeting of more than 400 scientists to coordinate a national responses. It has requested $675 million to address COVID-19.

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Photo by zhizhou deng via Wikimedia.

Posted-In: China coronavirus World Health OrganizationNews Global Best of Benzinga

 

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