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Coronavirus Now Has a Name

WHO labels it COVID-19
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2020 11:00 AM CST
Coronavirus Gets a Name
In this Jan. 30 photo, a man wears a face mask as he stands along the waterfront in Wuhan in China's Hubei province.   (AP Photo/Arek Rataj, File)

(Newser) – You don't have to call it "coronavirus" anymore. The World Health Organization has bestowed an official name on the fast-spreading illness: COVID-19. The "COVI" stands for coronavirus, the "D" stands for disease, and "19" reflects the year it was discovered, explains NPR. The health agency's guidelines stipulate that diseases shouldn't be formally named after regions (despite widespread informal use of the "Wuhan virus") or after animals believed to be behind the spread. The latest numbers, per the AP: COVID-19 has sickened more than 43,000 people around the world, the vast majority in China. The US has 13 cases inside the country, though about twice that number of Americans were infected on a cruise ship now docked in Japan. The worldwide death toll is more than 1,000. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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