THE CLAIM

A false claim, making the rounds on Facebook as a screenshot, states:

"Hate to break this to all of the morons who call themselves Journalists. COVID literally stands for 'Chinese Originated Viral Infectious Disease' and the number 19 is due to this being the 19th virus to come out of China.”

False claim circulating on social media about COVID-19
False claim circulating on social media about COVID-19
KHOU 11

THE REALITY

COVID-19 is indeed an acronym, but it does not refer to “China” or “Chinese” in any way.

WHAT WE FOUND

From the Centers for Disease Control: “On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19.”

CO stands for “corona”

VI stands for “virus”

D stands for “disease”

19 stands for “2019”

The CDC notes on its website that formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

Why do we hear the word “novel” now and then as well? 

According to the CDC, a “novel coronavirus” is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified:

The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

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A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

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