Is Calling COVID-19 the Wuhan Virus Racist?


If you need further explanation simply look at a long list of previous diseases named after the places they came from.

Lyme Disease: Named for Lyme, Connecticut, the location of the 1970s outbreak.

Ebola: named for the Ebola river in in the Congo.

West Nile virus: Named for West Nile region of Uganda

MERS: Acronym for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome which is a coronavirus outbreak, first reported in Saudi Arabia, in 2012-13.

Yes MERS is a coronavirus and there's lots of others according to the CDC. The first human coronavirus (HCoV) appeared in reports in the mid-1960s and was isolated from persons with common cold. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is also a coronavirus. There are at least 7 different coronaviruses so it is actually important for medical staff to identify which one they're referring to. Suddenly people including the World Health Organization are offended by the tradition of naming it from the area it was discovered.

So for the people (including every anchor on every network) who identified this outbreak as the Wuhan Virus, reasonable people understand that it was without malice and actually the best way to identify the virus. But moving forward we should call this outbreak COVID-19 as the WHO has named it such.

On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announcedan official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

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