What do Zika virus, Ebola virus and Spanish Flu have in common? Apart from killing many people, they were diseases named after the location from which they originated.
Zika virus was named after the Ziika Forest of Uganda, Ebola virus was named after the Ebola River. Obviously, the Spanish flu was named after Spain.
Thanks for the history lesson, what’s the news?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that in order to avoid “stigmatization and discrimination” it’ll be renaming the variants of the COVID-19 virus popularly named after Britain, South African, India and Brazil.
What are their new names?
The British variant, B.1.1.7, will be renamed Alpha, the variant B.1.351 first encountered in South Africa will be renamed Beta, while the Brazilian variant, P.1, will be renamed Gamma.
In India, the COVID-19 variant B.1.617 is split into two sub-lineages. Two sub-lineages will be renamed Delta and Kappa.
It sure will take a while to get used to these new names.