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International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous! ---- New WHO recommendations - May 8, 2015

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  • International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous! ---- New WHO recommendations - May 8, 2015

    As we have said before naming a disease after a geographical area is an affront to all those who live there.

    It is an insult and not acceptable.

    It is a form of ethnic slur.

    We ask all international committees to instead name this disease with descriptive alpha-numerics.

    We kind of world do we live in?




    International Group Settles on Name for New Coronavirus
    by Martin Enserink on 6 May 2013, 1:05 PM

    A virus by any other name? Researchers have recommended a new name for a novel coronavirus (above) first found in the Middle East.

    New MERS cases. The MERS coronavirus. Or—if things turn really bad—the MERS pandemic. That's how the world may soon be talking about the new virus that surfaced in the Arabian Peninsula last summer and that has been rattling health experts since. In a move that may end more than 7 months of confusion, an international group of scientists and public health officials will soon recommend that the new virus be called Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

    more...

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencein...tles-on-n.html

  • #2
    Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

    Really outreageous, I think.

    After more than 25 years since HIV/AIDS pandemic start, when initially big media outlets duped the syndrome as ''gay plague'' or ''drugs addicted plague'', there was a great deal about not stigmatizing people, ethnicities, sexual orientation, nationality or belief in relation to a specific disease or condition.

    At the time when the AIDS started to wipe out so many Young men and women around the world, some politicians, opinionist and Others started to blame the spread of this disease to certain behaviours or to certain geographica areas (such as Sub-saharian Africa).

    The demise of entire communities in these regions bore an huge brunt and in addition a shameful stigma.

    Have we not taught nothing from these unbearable suffering?

    It is disconcerting that in the 2013 there are people of these kind around. GM

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

      There's a couple problems with the term "Middle East" here, and it's not the obvious ones. I do applaud them for not using words like "Saudi", "Arab", etc. (especially since SARS could have stood for Saudi Arabian Respiratory Syndrome), and also for not using a specific place name (Mecca virus, Jeddah virus, etc.). To me, this is the equivalent of naming the 2009 pandemic H1N1 flu virus as "North American flu".

      While "Middle East" does encompass a range of ethnicities and nationalities locally (such as Turks, Persians, Arabs, Jews, etc.), as would North America have in 2009, outside the Middle East, many people use the term "Middle Easterner" as a synonym for something like "Arab". In the US or Europe, this could indeed be a slur. It might be something like referring to the 2009 virus in Africa or Asia as "white person flu".

      Secondly, this virus appears to have some ability to spread H2H. What will happen if in a couple weeks, a cluster of people in a hospital outside the Middle East with no obvious links to the Middle East is found. How would they explain an outbreak of "Middle East" respiratory syndrome then?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

        From: FluTrackers <flutrackers@earthlink.net>
        To: info@ictvonline.org
        Cc: barbara_sherry@ncsu.edu, ptrakt@mcw.edu, s.festing@sgm.ac.uk, gls37@cam.ac.uk
        Subject: Naming of New Coronavirus hcov-EMC
        Date: May 7, 2013 8:57 AM

        Dear Committee,

        It is with great dismay that we read you have decided to name the new coronavirus hcov-EMC as "Middle East" Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

        This name is an insult to that area of the world. Why name a disease after a geographical area? It is a permanent stigmatization to the area and all those who live there. Why do that?

        In addition, it appears at this time that this disease has a fatality rate of 60&#37;. It is unfair to attach this reference to any area, and by association - peoples.

        We ask that you reconsider this name and we suggest a name that is an alpha numeric, possibly incorporating the year 2012.

        Inherent in research and public health is human rights. Together we can make a difference in this world with our studies, outreach, and approach to the "dignity and worth of the human person".

        https://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/


        Thank you for your consideration.


        sincerely,


        Sharon Sanders
        Editor-in-Chief
        FluTrackers.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

          I think we show that we maybe are a bit too sensitive in this matter. What does it really matter what the name of a disease will be?

          The current name, hCoV-EMC or human Corona Virus-Erasmus Medical Centre, was adopted because it is customary to name a virus after the country or institute that sequenced the virus first. Nobody complained.

          Also, hCoV-HKU1 or human Corona Virus-Hong Kong U1, didn't cause a stir since 2005. Neither did anybody in The Netherlands when they named a Corona virus HCoV-NL63.

          So, why is MERS or Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome going to be a problem? I can't see it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

            Thanks Fred. But we have never agreed to any geographical names for any disease.

            It is wrong.

            Just because something was done in the past does not make it right for the future.

            It is a small request to stop naming diseases after locations.

            Why is there all this opposition to this simple request? It is a tiny thing.

            Respect people and do not name diseases after communities, towns, countries, regions. This is common sense to me.

            To name a disease after a region where most people share a common religion (in this case Muslim) and a common ethnicity (in this case mostly Arab origin) is a travesty and an injustice.

            If FluTrackers stands alone in this - then so be it.


            Comment


            • #7
              Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

              Thanks Sharon for your kind reply.

              It is wrong, you say. But it is only wrong if you feel that people, countries or regions are feeling unjustly accused. On the other hand, it's useful to understand where a disease originated.

              The Spanish Flu did not originate from Spain but only in Spain there wasn't censorship that prevented people from understanding that the flu in 1918 was mainly an American problem at first. Did the Spanish object? Neh, they didn't care.

              Why do 'we' need to protect some people when we never felt the need before to protect other?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                Although I personally believe that too many individuals, organzations, nations, and ethnic groups are too quick to take offense, I believe that even if a geographical naming convention isn't intended as, or taken as, an insult, it does supress the free flow of information. If a country fears that news of an outbreak will have a negative economic impact, it has been shown in many cases to cause that country to, at best, downplay an outbreak or, at worst, withhold data order in to protect the economy.

                I can think of no practical reason supporting anything other than the use of a completely neutral and scientific naming convention.
                "I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much." - Mother Teresa of Calcutta

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                  Jim, you hit the nail on the head. We used to say a lot of things and call things inappropriate names because it was conventional at that time. We know better now. Countries DO object to having their names attached to a killer disease. No one calls syphilis the French disease anymore. And SARS wasn't called the Chinese SARS when it erupted from its starting point in China. We aren't consistent and it is offensive so, look for something else that is non-abrasive.
                  Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

                  Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
                  Thank you,
                  Shannon Bennett

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                    I've reconsidered my initial position and now agree with Sharon.

                    Also, I've given it some thought on what to call the virus/illness if **** is not acceptable.

                    Corona viruses are here to stay and will probably evolve much the same way as Influenza viruses do. Suppose we create a simple but effective naming system and start calling this type of human Corona Virus: SARS-2.

                    A bit more extended version of my thought process can be found here.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                      Originally posted by sharon sanders View Post
                      From: FluTrackers <flutrackers@earthlink.net>
                      To: info@ictvonline.org
                      Cc: barbara_sherry@ncsu.edu, ptrakt@mcw.edu, s.festing@sgm.ac.uk, gls37@cam.ac.uk
                      Subject: Naming of New Coronavirus hcov-EMC
                      Date: May 7, 2013 8:57 AM

                      Dear Committee,

                      It is with great dismay that we read you have decided to name the new coronavirus hcov-EMC as "Middle East" Respiratory Syndrome (****).

                      This name is an insult to that area of the world. Why name a disease after a geographical area? It is a permanent stigmatization to the area and all those who live there. Why do that?

                      In addition, it appears at this time that this disease has a fatality rate of 60&#37;. It is unfair to attach this reference to any area, and by association - peoples.

                      We ask that you reconsider this name and we suggest a name that is an alpha numeric, possibly incorporating the year 2012.

                      Inherent in research and public health is human rights. Together we can make a difference in this world with our studies, outreach, and approach to the "dignity and worth of the human person".

                      https://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/


                      Thank you for your consideration.


                      sincerely,


                      Sharon Sanders
                      Editor-in-Chief
                      FluTrackers.com

                      I have not received any response from anyone who I emailed about this issue.

                      So I guess this matter is not important to these entities.

                      In addition, I have received many negative comments about my position on this issue.

                      People tell me that there are a lot more issues to take a stand about.

                      I take a stand every day here on FluTrackers - for more than 7 years.

                      If anyone wants to know what I think is important they can read my more than 23 thousand posts. I do not take a stand only about naming diseases after geographical locations.

                      I also do not feel any need to go along with the status quo or any consensus. When a few of us started FluTrackers we were outsiders in flublogia, the internet, and in our personal lives. I certainly do not care now whether my opinions reflect conventional thought.

                      Every day we each have a chance to make the world the way we want it to be, not the way we find it.

                      Thanks to the entire team at FluTrackers who volunteer their time to make a difference by demonstrating that not everything in this world is about money and recognition.


                      </flutrackers@earthlink.net>

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                        I renew my full solidarity with Sharon Sanders for her stance and with the other FluTrackers.com directors concerning the possible stigma against people living in the Eastern Mediterreanean Region in relation to the name assigned to the novel coronavirus by the ICTV.

                        I would not like to see again the strain and desperation seen during first times of HIV/AIDS pandemic.

                        Science is not a sterile field and scientists have to see human beings and their frailty when deciding about highly sensitive issues.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                          Thanks Giusepppe. We have one other supporter. I emailed revere of Effect Measure (he is an M.D. and MPH) to ask him his opinion on the issue of naming the new coronavirus and he said:

                          "In the Bigger Picture are there more important topics of substance? Yes. But topics of substance are not the only important topics. There are also topics of Principle and this is one and I stand with you on this."

                          Thanks Dr. revere.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                            Dr. Zaki has destroyed his career and gotten himself expelled from Saudi Arabia to expose this coronavirus. I still think this virus should be named in his honor and be called "Zaki virus" or even "Zaki SARS".

                            There was a movement to name the 2003 SARS virus as the "Urbani SARS coronavirus", in honor of Dr. Carlo Urbani, who died discovering and fighting the outbreak. That nomenclature was somewhat discarded after the outbreak was contained. We could restore that naming convention, and could then differentiate the two viruses as the "Zaki SARS virus" and the "Urbani SARS virus".

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                              I thought I read somewhere that there was an objection to using SARS but it was overruled.

                              I agree that discovering it is an honor and have never looked at the name of a disease as a negative.

                              Naming these new diseases is becoming such an issue that they eventually will be forced to find a different way to do it. Just so they don't make it 20 letters and numbers long.

                              I like Alert's solution.
                              The salvage of human life ought to be placed above barter and exchange ~ Louis Harris, 1918

                              Comment

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