December 4, 2022

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Why the WHO omitted the letters “nu” and “c” to name the omigron variant

WHO Director Tetros Adanom Caprais (Reuters)

The name of the recently identified corona virus variant has made some social media users doubt the World Health Organization’s system for labeling virus strains because authorities have omitted two letters to their post.

Selected by WHO on Friday Call the variant “Omigron”, Which was first reported to the agency by South African scientists, continued to use Greek characters to name significant variants of the virus.

However, social media users pointed it out correctly The organization omitted the two letters “nu” and “xi”, which called into question the action..

The WHO has been following the Greek alphabet since May when labeling some variants of the virus SARS-CoV-2. He has been explaining it ever since This system allows variations to be specified in a simpler way than their scientific names. In addition, this system helps prevent people from referring to variations by the locations where they are found, which can create stigma.

Many expected the agency to label the latest variant after the “mu” appointed on August 30 as “nu”.

In a statement issued to the company AP, The WHO clarified I skipped nu for obvious reasons (in English it is very similar to “new”, new) and xi so as not to offend anyone.

Clarified after many users on social networksIt was raised because it is a common family name, ”the WHO explained, The agency’s good practice of naming diseases’ recommends avoiding ‘harm to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic group’.

This report came after many users on social networks It is doubtful that this decision was an attempt to avoid hurting Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Two years later, the Geneva-based organization was accused of not being strict enough with the Asian giant.

WHO Director Tetros Adanom and Chinese President Xi Jinping (Reuters)
WHO Director Tetros Adanom and Chinese President Xi Jinping (Reuters)

Xi is the most common surname in China, and there are actually 11 different surnames in the transliteration that are pronounced differently in Mandarin and other dialects.

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A document released by the agency in May 2015 outlined the recommended procedures for “Christianizing” variations. The organization said it wanted to “minimize unnecessary negative effects on nations, economies and peoples” by naming infectious diseases.

This The company has been avoiding letters for the first time since it started using the Greek alphabet For corona virus types. He previously used letters to label 12 people. Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta are currently “worrying variants” such as Omigron. Lampta and Mu enjoy a less serious position of “variation of interest.” Another six letters were devoted to ancient variations of interest.

The Omigron variant appears to contain a large number of mutations in the corona virus spike protein, which can affect how easily it spreads to humans. The WHO said Friday that preliminary tests “suggest a higher risk of re-infection compared to other types of anxiety.”

But scientists are still exploring exactly what genetic mutations mean, to find out if the variant is too contagious or dangerous. So far, there is no indication that the variant causes more severe disease.

(With AP info)

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