News & AnalysisInfectious Diseases

Amid Heightened Concerns, New Name for Novel Coronavirus Emerges

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Science  10 May 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6133, pp. 673
DOI: 10.1126/science.340.6133.673

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Much remains unclear about the deadly new coronavirus that surfaced in the Arabian Peninsula last summer and continues to kill people. But if an international group of scientists and public health experts gets its way, at least one thing about the pathogen will be clear soon: its name. In hopes of putting to rest confusion over what the virus should be called, the Coronavirus Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses has proposed naming it after the Middle East—a recommendation supported by the World Health Organization that could nonetheless prove controversial because some see geographical virus names as stigmatizing.