How did the new variant get its name?

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Some well-known variants, such as Delta, have risen to the level of anxiety. Others in that category are named alpha, beta and gamma. Other Greek characters were used for variations that did not meet those limits, but only Nu and Xi were omitted.

The WHO has promoted the naming system as simple and accessible, saying that, unlike the scientific names of variants, it is “difficult to say and remember, and misleading”.

Some researchers agree.

Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan, said she had conducted several interviews with reporters earlier this year before the Greek naming system was announced, and that she was stumbled upon by confusing descriptions of types B.1.1.7 and B.1351. They are now known as the Alpha, which originated in the United Kingdom and the Beta, which originated in South Africa.

“It’s very difficult to talk about it when you constantly use characters with different names,” he added, “in the end people call it the UK variant or the South African variant.”

This is another big reason why the WHO changed to the Greek naming system, Dr. Rasmussen said: The old naming convention was unfair to the people who appeared the virus. The agency called the practice of describing variations by locations “degrading and discriminatory.”

The practice of naming regions after viruses is also historically misleading, Dr. Rasmussen said. Ebola, for example, is named after a river that is actually far from where the virus originated.

“I remember people saying from the beginning of the epidemic: ‘We called it the Spanish flu. Why shouldn’t we call it the Wuhan corona virus?'” Dr. Rasmussen said. “The Spanish flu did not come from Spain. There is a good chance ”

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