Published: Wed, February 12, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

World Health Organization warns of 'very grave' global virus threat

World Health Organization warns of 'very grave' global virus threat

The update came in a briefing from WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus with the long-awaited announcement of virus's specific name revealed as Covid-19.

The world must "wake up and consider this enemy virus as public enemy number one", WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters, adding the first vaccine was 18 months away.

"We welcome global experts including those from the United States to take part in the joint expert team", Mi said, adding that appropriate arrangements for the team would be made after thorough consultation and communication.

The name breaks down into four parts - "co" for corona, "vi" for virus, "d" for disease', and 19 for its year of genesis.

Under a set of guidelines issued in 2015, World Health Organization advises against using place names such as Ebola and Zika - where those diseases were first identified and which are now inevitably linked to them in the public mind.

Image via Pixabay
Image via Pixabay

World Health Organization also notes that using animal species in the name can create confusion, such as in 2009 when H1N1 was popularly referred to as "swine flu". The name has been particularly devised to avoid any stigma that could be directed at people, places or animals. This name gave some the impression it could be spread by pigs, resulting in significant damage to the pork industry.

Chinese health authorities on Tuesday said it received reports of 2,478 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 108 deaths on Monday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

The agency had earlier given the virus the temporary name of "2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease" and China's National Health Commission this week said it was temporarily calling it "novel coronavirus pneumonia" or NCP.

COVID-19 originated from Wuhan in the Hubei province in China.

The illness caused by the virus, which has since infected thousands in China and several other countries, had been nameless since the outbreak began. Two dozen other countries have reported 393 cases of the virus, with one death in the Philippines.

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