Why is it called COVID-19?

By April 2, 2020 April 6th, 2020 No Comments

You must be wondering and busy searching, “Why is it called COVID-19?” Why not Virus 20? SARSv2 and etc…? In fact, there are lots of terms out there. Wuhan Virus, Coronavirus, COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2.

And in order to make it really simple for you (and for us too), please continue reading below.

1. The Disease

Official Name: COVID-19 a.k.a Coronavirus Disease 

The name was officially given by World Health Organisation (WHO) for the ease of discussion of the virus. You may take it as a public term, for general public to refer to.

CO: Corona

VI: Virus
D: Disease
19: Year 2019, the disease was first identified.

2. The Virus

SARS-CoV-2: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2

In a nutshell, this is the VIRUS that causes the DISEASE. This coronavirus is genetically related to the SARS in 2003, hence it explains why the naming similar.

3. “Corona”, why is it called Coronavirus?

So, why is it called coronavirus? What does “corona” has to do with the virus? Is it caused by “Corona Beer“? First of all, you will not catch the virus by drinking Corona Beer. The virus has nothing to do with the beer at all.

Based on CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention), Coronaviruses are a group of viruses which produce symptoms similar to that of flu. The word “Corona”, means crown in Latin, which has strong association with Coronavirus as it has series of crown-like spikes on its surface. Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) are part of the coronaviruses family too.

4. Wuhan Virus

The virus first became known in a city called Wuhan, China. Everyone, including the media, researchers and general public, refer the disease as “Wuhan Virus”. It was not until 11 Feb 2020, when WHO gave this disease and official name, COVID-19.

Some have debated, why bother giving an official name when we can continue to call it “Wuhan Virus”? A couple of years ago, WHO issued guidelines to warn people from naming diseases after animals or geographic locations as certain words and language may have a negative meaning for people and fuel stigmatizing attitudes.