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Old 02-04-2020, 06:34 PM
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Why is everyone calling it the Coronavirus and not the "Wuhan Flu"?


All the news and other outlets have been calling it the coronavirus which seems not right since the coronavirus is just a descriptor of the virus.

Why don't we have a cute name for it like the "Wuhan Flu" which I saw initially, or something like SARS which actually describes the effects?
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:38 PM
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I haven't seen anyone calling it THE coronavirus.
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:40 PM
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"Flu" is short for influenza, which is caused by an influenza virus. The novel coronavirus is not in that family.
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:51 PM
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There is also the issue that using names to link the virus to China may help create a racist backlash. Calling it by the technical name is more neutral.

"Fear of coronavirus fuels racist sentiment targetting Asians"

https://www.latimes.com/california/s...cist-sentiment
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:23 PM
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We could call it the Snake Sniffle.
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:33 PM
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When I first became aware if this I called it the Windmill virus after our dear leader. However absolutely no one got it, so I stopped.
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:37 PM
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Why don't we have a cute name for it like the "Wuhan Flu" which I saw initially...
I nominate the Wu Tang Flu.
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:40 PM
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Its name is '2019 Novel Coronavirus' or nCoV 19 in short form. So Coronavirus works for a catchy form.

Last edited by kanicbird; 02-04-2020 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:44 PM
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It's not the flu.

I also wouldn't be surprised if China was exerting some pressure to block something like that, and I wouldn't blame them.
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Old 02-04-2020, 07:49 PM
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When I first became aware if this I called it the Windmill virus after our dear leader. However absolutely no one got it, so I stopped.
I also don't get it.

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Old 02-04-2020, 07:55 PM
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You don't get it because it only works in my head.

Trump thinks global warming and other facts are "Chinese hoaxes".
Trump thinks windmills call cancer.

Ergo "Windmill virus"

In my defense I was pretty sick at the time.
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:17 PM
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Yes, the windmills in Trump world stand on hills, calling "Cancer! Here Cancer! C'mon, boy!"
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:18 PM
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Dammit!
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:27 PM
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I haven't seen anyone calling it THE coronavirus.
I've seen it a lot. Plenty of examples similar to this:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/co...ous-2020-01-30
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:29 PM
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^ In that example they are distinguishing "the coronavirus" from SARS.
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Old 02-04-2020, 10:24 PM
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The term 'coronavirus' is a common name for a virus in the family coronaviridae. Typically viruses from this family are rather innocuous, perhaps causing cold like symptoms in reasonably healthy humans if any symptoms at all. The notable exceptions are the SARS and MERS outbreaks which were also coronaviridae family viruses.

This had led to the mistaken belief that certain products like Dettol might be effective against this novel virus as they are effective against most typical coronaviridae family viruses.

IMHO a rebranding of the virus responsible for the current outbreak is warranted. ChiRS - Chinese Respiratory Syndrome? ChARS - Chinese Acute Respiratory Syndrome? EARS - East Asian Respiratory Syndrome? Whatever would be catchy and get some traction in the media.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:22 AM
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Ncov19 is probably good enough to catch on as a name. Using the year in the name is much more useful than tying it to a country or region. H1N1 was nearly catchy enough in its time. Being able to pronounce the name as a word always helps. Spelling out letters is boring.
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:50 AM
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Somewhere recently I saw nCovfefe19 suggested.

More generally: I've always wondered why some diseases seem to get actual "names" of some sort, whereas others just get technical (if abbreviated) descriptions or acronyms or other strange names.

Some actual names were like "mumps" or "measles" or "tetanus". Some were derived from technical descriptions, like "poliomyelitis" (commonly shortened to "polio") or "multiple sclerosis" (commonly shortened to "multiple sclerosis").

Some just got acronyms from longer phrases, like "AIDS" or "SARS" or "MERS".

Then there was "Legionnaires disease" (also, "legionellosis" which looks like a back-formation from Legionnaire), or "Alzheimer's disease". Why do they need names that include the word "disease"?

Who decides which diseases should get actual names of their own or just acronyms or names "[Some person]'s disease"?
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:21 AM
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They're working on a new name that's easy to use but doesn't stigmatize any group or area - story here
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:31 AM
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If it were called that, it’d be easier to treat: you just incant “shoo, shoo, Wu Flu!” and it goes away.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:19 AM
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The WHO has a set of recommended rules for naming diseases that specifically advises against using place names because it can lead to an unfair stigma.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:20 AM
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It's really no different from talking about E. coli as though it was a deadly bacterium. In fact, most strains are quite benign--in fact everyone's gut is full of it, but there is one very virulent strain. Maybe more than one.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:22 AM
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What Der Trihs said. Labeling a disease like that makes it all the worse for people from there. Imagine if the disease hadn't originated from Wuhan, but from, say, Delaware in the United States, and the whole world was labeling it the "deadly Delaware Virus" for months on end. You sure wouldn't want to be someone from Delaware during that time, nor would people from there like it.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:34 AM
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It's really no different from talking about E. coli as though it was a deadly bacterium. In fact, most strains are quite benign--in fact everyone's gut is full of it, but there is one very virulent strain. Maybe more than one.
It's being called THE coronavirus when it's one of many. News outlets usually say something like " infected by E. coli" which isn't misleading any to think there is necessarily only one strain.

Last edited by x-ray vision; 02-05-2020 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:47 AM
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It's not the flu, like others have said, but that doesn't mean the layman wouldn't refer to it as one, especially since the symptoms seem so similar.

Why the layman doesn't, though, is because they'd be labeled "racist" Personally, my vote is for Kung-flu. Although note the accusations I would (or may still) get for being racist, lol.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:54 AM
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What Der Trihs said. Labeling a disease like that makes it all the worse for people from there. Imagine if the disease hadn't originated from Wuhan, but from, say, Delaware in the United States, and the whole world was labeling it the "deadly Delaware Virus" for months on end. You sure wouldn't want to be someone from Delaware during that time, nor would people from there like it.
Lyme disease, anyone? Not deadly or contagious, but not something that will be mostly forgotten five years from now either.
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Old 02-05-2020, 10:02 AM
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...only one strain.
I shouldn't have used "strain" there. Coronavirus is an entire family of viruses. Calling one subgenus "the coronavirus" when not only are there others, others have been big news items in the not so distant past doesn't make much sense. E. Coli is a species of bacteria and much more narrowed down than a family. News outlets talking about an E. coli outbreak aren't being (as) misleading.
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Old 02-05-2020, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by steatopygia View Post
When I first became aware if this I called it the Windmill virus after our dear leader. However absolutely no one got it, so I stopped.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steatopygia View Post
You don't get it because it only works in my head.

Trump thinks global warming and other facts are "Chinese hoaxes".
Trump thinks windmills call cancer.

Ergo "Windmill virus"

In my defense I was pretty sick at the time.
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Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Yes, the windmills in Trump world stand on hills, calling "Cancer! Here Cancer! C'mon, boy!"
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Somewhere recently I saw nCovfefe19 suggested.
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  #29  
Old 02-05-2020, 10:22 AM
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Lyme disease, anyone? Not deadly or contagious, but not something that will be mostly forgotten five years from now either.
Spain has been hit hard by associations (real or imagined) with deadly diseases, including syphilis (the "Spanish disease") and the "Spanish flu" (the Great Influenza of 1918-19).

Then there's "Norwegian" scabies (a term for a particular widespread form of this parasitic infection), which people from Norway probably don't appreciate.

The Chinese may be especially touchy these days about being associated with disease outbreaks, because of SARS and evidence that all three waves of European plague in the Middle Ages and 19th century originated in China.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 02-05-2020 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 02-05-2020, 10:33 AM
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The Chinese may be especially touchy these days about being associated with disease outbreaks, because of SARS and evidence that all three waves of European plague in the Middle Ages and 19th century originated in China.
Yeah, I don't think there's an equivalent stigma regarding people from Connecticut. Most aren't even aware of the existence of Lyme, Connecticut. I'm pretty sure The Deadly Delaware Virus would go over much differently than Lyme Disease.
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:02 AM
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Lyme disease, anyone? Not deadly or contagious, but not something that will be mostly forgotten five years from now either.
I doubt most people even know that locations exits.

However, I am still unable to hear about Reston, VA without thinking "EBOLA!"
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:04 PM
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The nonbinding WHO guidelines against naming new diseases and viruses for places were only just released in 2015. Names like Spanish flu, MERS (Middle-Eastern Respiratory Syndrome), Zika, Lyme disease, Ebola, Lassa fever, Norwalk virus, and Coxsackie virus, all predate the guidelines. Those terms are essentially grandfathered in, they're so well entrenched they are unlikely to be changed now. The same guidelines deprecate naming new diseases after people (so Chagas disease would not fly today), nor after groups of people (ditto legionnaires' disease), nor after animal species (ditto swine flu).

Der Trihs linked to the guidelines above, but I have trouble making it work. this link (3-page PDF) works for me.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:27 PM
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I always figured the Coxsackie virus must be something that attacks those parts of the body.
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Old 02-05-2020, 01:08 PM
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Yeah, but is this going to hurt sales of Corona beer?
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:11 PM
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...Der Trihs linked to the guidelines above, but I have trouble making it work. this link (3-page PDF) works for me.
A sad day for those of us who appreciate obscure geographical disease names - 'Barcoo Rot', the 'Barcoo Spews' [The Barcoo is in remotest Australia,as in the poem that starts 'In the Outer Barcoo, where churches are few, and men of religion are scanty ...'], 'Q Fever' [for Queensland], 'Ross River Virus', and 'Flinders Island Spotted Fever'. We shall never see their like again.
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:50 PM
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A sad day for those of us who appreciate obscure geographical disease names...
I expect Corona Virus to be contracted while sinning in Corona, California. North Corona is also called Norco, and yes that's the opioid that replaced Vicodin, and also the name of the nearby state woman's prison. Northwest of there is the village of Spadra, hosting a state hospital for the retarded, prompting the local insult, "You Spad!" for "moron".

Other local ailment names I recall are heavy with ethnic and sexual insults. "Wuhan flu" already excuses racism which "Spanish flu" didn't. (And that may have started in Kansas, or Austria, or... China.) A clever PR campaign may rebrand the Wuhan bug as "San Diego flu". Or will Uighurs be blamed?

Meanwhile, expect more of usual the disinformation.
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:01 PM
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Yeah, but is this going to hurt sales of Corona beer?
I'm sure it will have some impact, given the intelligence of the general population.

People that haven't contracted the full impact of the virus are said to have the Corona Light Virus.
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Old 02-05-2020, 04:09 PM
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The nonbinding WHO guidelines against naming new diseases and viruses for places were only just released in 2015. Names like Spanish flu, MERS (Middle-Eastern Respiratory Syndrome), Zika, Lyme disease, Ebola, Lassa fever, Norwalk virus, and Coxsackie virus, all predate the guidelines.
The W.H.O. tries to take the fun out of everything.

According to this site, Arab countries were not pleased with a coronavirus disease being named Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

These days you're also supposed to avoid naming diseases after people*, though there's already an enormous list** of eponymously named diseases. I was unaware that renaming Wegener's granulomatosis as "granulomatosis with angiitis" was due to Wegener's having been originally named for a Nazi physician.

*there go my dreams of discovering a brand-new affliction that would be called Jackmannitosis in my honor.
**perhaps my favorite on this list is "Cock's Peculiar Tumor".
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Old 02-05-2020, 07:18 PM
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Wuhan just spent a couple of billion dollars upgrading new airport, convention halls, hotels, roads, etc. There was a global military games (kinda like the Olympics for military) in the summer of 2019. And certainly Wuhan is going to spend years digging out from being the epicenter. The last thing needed is to be called the Wuhan flu that killed xx, infected yyy, took 1% off the global GDP, and was "peak China."
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:05 AM
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My girlfriend is from Hong Kong and is over there right now. She tells me that the name WARS (Wuhan Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is gaining traction.

Last edited by amanset; 02-06-2020 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:39 AM
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My girlfriend is from Hong Kong and is over there right now. She tells me that the name WARS (Wuhan Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is gaining traction.
Great. Now we are going to have SARS WARS.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:53 AM
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Yeah, but is this going to hurt sales of Corona beer?
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Originally Posted by Omar Little
I'm sure it will have some impact, given the intelligence of the general population.
It shouldn't be remotely as bad as the effect on sales of Ayds (the diet candy) when the term AIDS came into use.
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Old 02-06-2020, 10:18 AM
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Yeah, but is this going to hurt sales of Corona beer?
I have heard people suggest calling it Dos Equis Virus, on the grounds that at least it is better than Corona. Not being a beer drinker, I am agnostic on that question.
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:02 PM
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Until a better name comes along, I will call it the Wuhan virus.

I wonder if this will have any effect on the classical pianist Wu Han. Maybe she'll start calling herself Mrs. David Finkel.

This virus is spreading too fast and is contagious before symptoms appear. I expect it will not stop until there is a vaccine.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:31 PM
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Kung Flu.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:04 PM
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To Wuhan Flu,
Thanks for Everything!
Julie Newmar

Last edited by Atamasama; 02-07-2020 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:15 PM
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You were so close to nailing "Flu-Tang."
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:17 PM
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Covid-19
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:21 PM
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Tedros said that "CO" stands for "corona", "VI" for "virus" and "D" for "disease", while "19" was for the year, as the outbreak was first identified on December 31.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/...172638418.html

Meh
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:39 PM
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Yeah, but is this going to hurt sales of Corona beer?
The brewers of Corona beer anticipated that. The new name is Ebola Beer.
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