Novel Coronavirus disease outbreak has been declared as a pandemic by the WHO (World Health Organisation). The virus breeds in animals and can be transmitted from animals to humans. Coronavirus is zoonotic in nature, which means they can transfer from non-humans to humans. According to the WHO’s official website, the virus was unfamiliar to human scientific research until late 2019. Thus a new name and categorization were important. But have you wondered why is Coronavirus named as COVID-19?
According to the official website of WHO, the International Committee of Taxonomy of Virus’s and International Classification of Diseases committee’s research revealed that the genetic structure of the novel coronavirus or the COVID-19 is similar to that of SARS that occurred in Asia in 2003. The outbreak had originally transferred from a virus generated in Civet cats to humans. However, naming the outbreak SARS-CoV-2 would have resulted in panic along with the public. Thus WHO and the committees involved named the virus as COVID-19, as the virus generated in Wuhan in China in 2019. The COVID denotes Coronavirus disease and the ‘19’ refers to the year it was first found by the researchers. This is why is the novel Coronavirus is named as COVID-19.
Further research suggests that coronavirus is similar to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The SARS-CoV affected over 25 countries in Asia, affecting 8,000 and above people. The panic situation caused by another zoonotic virus had to be avoided according to reports by the WHO. Similarly, MERS-CoV also affected Middle Eastern countries with 92 cases and 12 recorded deaths. For communication and research purpose as well coronavirus was named so COVID-19. Coronavirus is genetically mutated over the old virus in SARS and MERS, and that is why Coronavirus is named COVID-19.
Coronavirus is a virus that transfers from hosts and COVID-19 is the disease that is caused after the transmission. Coronavirus is the virus responsible for all three instances that are COVID-19, SARS Outbreak and MERS Outbreak, the zoonotic way of transmission remains the same in all of the outbreaks. It needs a host to survive, which is either an animal or non-animal (human) body for regeneration and multiplication. However, the novel coronavirus or the COVID-19 is the new virus which reportedly first generated in bats and then transferred into humans and became more aggressive in nature. It is unidentified to any research. The virus is currently responsible for the lakhs of reported cases around the globe. The difference between coronavirus and COVID-19 is that the virus is of similar nature but different macrostructure.