The coronavirus is now called Covid-19

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On February 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the so-called “Wuhan coronavirus” was renamed Covid-19. The main reason for the name change is to avoid references to geography, animals, an individual or a group of people. It should also be a word that can be easily pronounced and is related to the disease.

"Having a name is important to avoid using others that may be inaccurate or stigmatizing. It also gives us a standard format to use in future outbreaks of coronavirus," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general.

The newly named Covid-19 has claimed the lives of 1,116 people and infected 45,191, mostly in China. These are figures as of 12 February 2020.

Ghebreyesus has announced that the first vaccine against Covid-19 could be ready in 18 months. For the time being, he recommends following the basic recommendations to prevent contagion:

- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand cleaner: after coughing and sneezing; when caring for sick people; before, during and after preparing food; before eating; after going to the bathroom; when your hands are dirty; and after touching animals or their waste.

- Cover your mouth and nose with your arm or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

- Stay away from someone who is coughing or sneezing.

- Go to the doctor if we have a fever, cough or have trouble breathing.

- Avoid crowded, enclosed places like shopping malls and the subway.

- Avoid markets with live animals and contact with them.

The WHO is holding, since yesterday in Genoa, a meeting attended both in person and virtually more than 400 scientists from around the world and will be extended until today. The aim is to coordinate a global response to Covid-19. A research roadmap will also be drawn up, so that funding organizations know exactly what the public health priorities are and so that investments have the greatest impact on research.

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