The World Health Organization has issued new labels for key variants of viruses. The new labels are not intended to replace the scientific names, but to provide a simpler and more recognizable name without identifying a specific country or region. Currently, virus variants are identified and named by the country or region where they were first detected, and this can be stigmatizing and discriminatory. The new WHO labels, on the other hand, have been chosen after wide consultation with the scientific community. WHO experts from various disciplines, including virus taxonomy, nomenclature and disease epidemiology, as well as national authorities, compiled the names and agreed on the new WHO labels.
The new WHO labels for SARS-CoV-2 variants are intended to be simple and easy to say. This is an effort to improve global communication and reduce stigma about the disease. The new names will also help researchers find the right vaccine to treat people with the virus. The WHO notes that the new labels will not replace the scientific names, which will remain used for research. Scientific names can be difficult to pronounce and may be prone to misreporting. In addition, many people refer to variants by the locations where they have been detected, which can be confusing.
The new labels for key variants of the SARS virus are based on the Greek alphabet. The alphabet was chosen to make the names more simple and more easily pronounced, and the names themselves are easier to remember.