COVID-19 variants get new names based on Greek alphabet
The World Well being Group (WHO) has introduced a new naming system for notable variants of virus that causes COVID-19 based on letters of the Greek alphabet. The new names aren’t supposed to interchange official scientific designations, nevertheless it’s hoped they’ll present labels which are simpler to recollect and say than alphanumeric names, and fewer stigmatizing than the casual use of nations’ names to establish new variants.
The WHO has a listing of present “variants of concern” and “variants of curiosity” which were given new labels below the Greek alphabet naming scheme. “Alpha” refers to B.1.1.7, the variant first documented within the UK, whereas “Delta” is B.1.617.2, which was first documented in India. In whole, the WHO has already used 10 letters of the 24 letter robust Greek alphabet.
The labels don’t substitute present scientific names, which convey necessary scientific data & will proceed for use in analysis. The naming system goals to forestall calling #COVID19 variants by the locations the place they’re detected, which is stigmatizing & discriminatory. pic.twitter.com/MwWGGMXPjn
— World Well being Group (WHO) (@WHO) May 31, 2021
Though naming illnesses after geographical places has a protracted historical past that features the Ebola virus (named after the Congolese river) and the Spanish Flu, The Guardian notes, its casual utilization has turn into contentious. Former president Donald Trump referred to COVID-19 because the “Chinese language Virus” on multiple event, which has been cited as contributing to a current wave of hate crimes in opposition to Asian American and Pacific Islanders within the US. The WHO calls the observe of referring to variants by their place of detection “stigmatizing and discriminatory.”
“No nation needs to be stigmatised for detecting and reporting variants,” WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove mentioned in feedback reported by The Guardian.
The title COVID-19 was formally given to the illness in February 2020. Previous to its official naming, the sickness was colloquially known as “Wuhan pneumonia” or “Wuhan flu.”
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