Coronavirus gets new name

Jan. 28, 2020 photo of medical staff at clinic in city of Wuhan, epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak. China has instituted the largest quarantine policy in human history to contain and eliminate the deadly disease. 

The World Health Organization has given the new coronavirus an official name: Covid-19.

“Covi” is short for coronavirus and the “d” designates it as a disease. The “19” refers to the virus emerging in 2019.

The Covid-19 distinguishes the new disease from the large family of other coronaviruses, some of which cause the common cold.

Health officials report more than 45,000 cases of Covid-19 have been reported thus far, and 1,116 people have died from the disease, the overwhelming majority in China’s Hubei province, home to the city of Wuhan, epicenter of the outbreak.

The WHO has declared the outbreak a global public health emergency. Cases have been reported in several countries, including 13 in the U.S. The disease causes respiratory illness and pneumonia.

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