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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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  • #16
    Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

    I am new here, so I don't know if my opinion counts or has any weight.

    I do NOT like the new name. It is stigmatizing. I agree totally with Sharon on this one.

    I feel it should remain a scientific name. Human Coronavirus2-2013 or SARS2-2013 or some other number.

    I would sign my name to a petition to this effect.

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

      http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencein...n-a-scien.html
      '****' Makes Its Debut in a Scientific Journal
      by Martin Enserink on 15 May 2013, 3:15 PM
      [snip]Geographical names are often controversial because they can be seen as stigmatizing, but CSG chair Raoul de Groot of Utrecht University in the Netherlands says that the reference to the Middle East was eventually acceptable to all. He hopes that the paper will end the debate. "It's good for communication that the field has found a name that is supported by many," De Groot writes in an -email to ScienceInsider. "At the moment, there are more important issues with regard to **** and ****-CoV to focus on."
      More important things like patent rights?

      2003:

      Scientists race to patent SARS virus - Efforts to claim property rights spark ethical debate

      Now that is an important debate, because some people believe these types of patents drive up healthcare costs and corrupt the scientific process.
      _____________________________________________

      Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic H.R. 834

      i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed

      (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
      Never forget Excalibur.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

        Scientists race to patent SARS virus

        If it wasn't that sad it could be kind of funny.

        These 'scientists' - and I use the term loosely - that want to patent the virus forgot that the Coronaviruses have the potential to undergo rapid genetic change as they adapt to new hosts. Which means that te virus that circulates this year isn't the same as the one that will circulate next year.

        See here.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

          Originally posted by fredvries View Post
          Scientists race to patent SARS virus

          If it wasn't that sad it could be kind of funny.

          These 'scientists' - and I use the term loosely - that want to patent the virus forgot that the Coronaviruses have the potential to undergo rapid genetic change as they adapt to new hosts. Which means that te virus that circulates this year isn't the same it the one that will circulate next year.

          See here.
          So, if they patent the virus, can I seek financial reimbursement for pain and suffering caused by an active Coronavirus infection?

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

            WHO has capitulated to the status quo by finally adopting the name "Middle East" to describe the 50-60% fatal new coronavirus.

            Shows the power of special interest groups on the international level.

            I expected more of the WHO.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!
              • SARS02 (Zaki CoV 2012)
              • SARS01 (Urbani CoV 2003)

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                A simple numerical sequence sounds good to me. It works with adenoviruses.
                _____________________________________________

                Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic H.R. 834

                i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed

                (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
                Never forget Excalibur.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                  hat tip Helen Branswell


                  Erasmus MC Press Release Rotterdam, 24 May 2013



                  Erasmus MC: no restrictions for public health research into MERS coronavirus

                  The Viroscience Department of Erasmus MC strongly refutes all allegations concerning a presumed lack of willingness to cooperate in research into the new MERS coronavirus. The virus has already been sent free of charge to many public research and health institutions that can work with it safely and, like the Viroscience department, serve public health worldwide. It should be clear that a virus cannot be patented, only specific applications related to it, like vaccines and medicines. Rumours that the Viroscience department of Erasmus MC would hamper research into the MERS coronavirus are clearly wrong and not based on facts.

                  Erasmus MC was the first to identify the new coronavirus (MERS coronavirus). To date, more than 44 people have been infected with MERS coronavirus worldwide, 22 of whom have died. The virus could develop into a major public health threat if the new coronavirus becomes efficiently transmissible from human-to-human. Therefore a major research effort into MERS coronavirus and its properties is urgently needed.

                  It is clear that all research institutions worldwide that want to carry out such research will receive the virus free of charge from Erasmus MC. Indeed many research institutions already received the virus together with additional materials and information from Erasmus MC. For shipment of the virus it is mandatory that a material transfer agreement (MTA) is signed by the recipient institution, as is common practice when shipping viruses. Such an MTA covers issues like liability and limitations to commercial use. Consequently the virus may not yet be used for commercial purposes and may not be distributed to third parties without permission. These are the usual conditions covered by a MTA.

                  MTAs were implemented to facilitate scientific research as well as exchange of materials to the benefit of public health. Ab Osterhaus and Ron Fouchier of Erasmus MC stress that ?every research or public health laboratory that complies with the safety criteria for handling MERS coronavirus can work with it?.

                  It is clearly a misunderstanding that Erasmus MC owns the virus. Only specific applications related to it, like vaccines and medicines can be patented.

                  Virologists of the Viroscience Department of Erasmus MC are sending MERS coronavirus free of charge and without restrictions to all research institutions that work to benefit public health.
                  Erasmus MC is the largest and most authoritative scientific University Medical Center in the Netherlands. Almost 13,000 staff members work within the core tasks of patient care, education, and scientific research on the continuous improvement and enforcement of individual patient care and social healthcare. They develop high-level knowledge, pass this on to future professionals, and apply it in everyday patient care. Over the next five years, Erasmus MC wants to grow into one of the best medical institutes in the world. Erasmus MC is part of the Dutch Federation of University Medical Centers (NFU): www.nfu.nl.

                  http://www.erasmusmc.nl/perskamer/ar...64294/?lang=en

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                    I humbly submit http://www.uq.edu.au/vdu for a few of my views on the MTA issue as well.

                    Cheers,
                    Ian
                    Virology Down Under Blog and Website
                    Human viruses: what they are, how they tick and the illnesses they may cause

                    http://virologydownunder.blogspot.com.au/
                    http://www.uq.edu.au/vdu/

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                      On the principal topic though...

                      The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) holds the reigns for naming viruses as part of the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS). A logical process has evolved over time, as does human understanding. A couple of things worth noting:

                      1. The ICTV names viruses to the level of species (descending from Order, Family, Subfamily, Genus and Species) but they do not get their hands dirty with individual types (e.g they go to "H.spaien" but not to "Frank").
                      Naming virus types, members of the species, is the domain of the Study Groups. Practically - naming a virus type is purely down to the researcher. If they want to stick with HCoV-EMC, they can - researchers may have trouble publishing that if a scientific journal wishes to adhere to the the structure of the Study Groups. But taxonomy is about trying to impart some order. Without some sort of guideline, naming of viruses can get crazy. It does not set out to offend-as I understand it!
                      In more recent times, the name of viruses has reflected a jumbled acronym or initialism that imparts some information about the virus, is unique and steers away from potentially stigmatizing a region - Ebola and Marburg viruses are examples that drew some criticism given the severity of the infections they cause. Country/town/person-specific names have been less common.
                      This is why it was so strange to see the Study Group take a perfectly well validated scientific name in HCoV-EMC (you can debate the "H") and change it. They stated it was for better consensus - doesn't seem to be the case given some of the Arab press of late. As I noted somewhere in my blog at the time, I fully support the need to steer away from the ridiculous "novel coronavirus" label - this is not the last CoV we will find - but EMC was already peer-reviewed and published - multiple times. The latest name change makes things difficult for searching the literature let alone other concerns.

                      Perhaps the WHO should have responded to that sooner?

                      2. Among many things, the ICTV state http://ictvonline.org/codeOfVirusClassification.asp:

                      "2. Principles of Nomenclature
                      2.1 The essential principles of virus nomenclature are:-
                      (i) to aim for stability; (ii) to avoid or reject the use of names which might cause error or confusion; (iii) to avoid the unnecessary creation of names.

                      2.2 Nomenclature of viruses is independent of other biological nomenclature. Virus taxon nomenclature is recognized as an exception in the proposed International Code of Bionomenclature (BioCode).

                      2.3 The primary purpose of naming a taxon is to supply a means of referring to the taxon, rather than to indicate the characters or history of the taxon.

                      2.4 The name of a taxon has no official status until it has been approved by ICTV."
                      Virology Down Under Blog and Website
                      Human viruses: what they are, how they tick and the illnesses they may cause

                      http://virologydownunder.blogspot.com.au/
                      http://www.uq.edu.au/vdu/

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: International Group Suggesting Name for New Coronavirus (hnov-EMC) to be Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus - Outrageous!

                        Source: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/n...me-change-hard

                        AFP
                        Agence France-PresseOctober 2, 2013 15:05
                        When diseases have a bad name, change is hard


                        Some diseases just have a bad name. But even when their commonly known labels glorify Nazi doctors or slander certain ethnic groups, old habits are hard to change, experts say.

                        Medical conditions, viruses and even personality quirks have long been named after places, famous athletes, pioneering doctors and literary giants...

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          From: WorldHealthOrganizationNews@who.int [Edit Address Book]
                          To: undisclosed-recipients@null, null@null
                          Subject: WHO issues best practices for naming new human infectious diseases
                          Date: May 8, 2015 3:15 AM

                          WHO issues best practices for naming new human infectious diseases


                          8 May 2015 ǀ GENEVA ? The World Health Organization (WHO) today called on scientists, national authorities and the media to follow best practices in naming new human infectious diseases to minimize unnecessary negative effects on nations, economies and people.

                          ?In recent years, several new human infectious diseases have emerged. The use of names such as ?swine flu? and ?Middle East Respiratory Syndrome? has had unintended negative impacts by stigmatizing certain communities or economic sectors,? says Dr Keiji Fukuda, Assistant Director-General for Health Security, WHO. ?This may seem like a trivial issue to some, but disease names really do matter to the people who are directly affected. We?ve seen certain disease names provoke a backlash against members of particular religious or ethnic communities, create unjustified barriers to travel, commerce and trade, and trigger needless slaughtering of food animals. This can have serious consequences for peoples? lives and livelihoods.?

                          Diseases are often given common names by people outside of the scientific community. Once disease names are established in common usage through the Internet and social media, they are difficult to change, even if an inappropriate name is being used. Therefore, it is important that whoever first reports on a newly identified human disease uses an appropriate name that is scientifically sound and socially acceptable.

                          The best practices apply to new infections, syndromes, and diseases that have never been recognized or reported before in humans, that have potential public health impact, and for which there is no disease name in common usage. They do not apply to disease names that are already established.

                          The best practices state that a disease name should consist of generic descriptive terms, based on the symptoms that the disease causes (e.g. respiratory disease, neurologic syndrome, watery diarrhoea) and more specific descriptive terms when robust information is available on how the disease manifests, who it affects, its severity or seasonality (e.g. progressive, juvenile, severe, winter). If the pathogen that causes the disease is known, it should be part of the disease name (e.g. coronavirus, influenza virus, salmonella).

                          Terms that should be avoided in disease names include geographic locations (e.g. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Spanish Flu, Rift Valley fever), people?s names (e.g. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Chagas disease), species of animal or food (e.g. swine flu, bird flu, monkey pox), cultural, population, industry or occupational references (e.g. legionnaires), and terms that incite undue fear (e.g. unknown, fatal, epidemic).

                          WHO developed the best practices for naming new human infectious diseases in close collaboration with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and in consultation with experts leading the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

                          The new best practices do not replace the existing ICD system, but rather provide an interim solution prior to the assignment of a final ICD disease name. As these best practices only apply to disease names for common usage, they also do not affect the work of existing international authoritative bodies responsible for scientific taxonomy and nomenclature of microorganisms.

                          Notes to editors

                          Download the best practices document: www.who.int/topics/infectious_diseases/naming-new-diseases

                          The final name of any new human disease is assigned by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is managed by WHO. ICD is used by doctors, nurses, researchers, health information managers and coders, policymakers, insurers and patient organizations around the world to classify diseases and other health problems and record them in a standardized way on health records and death certificates. This enables the storage and retrieval of diagnostic information for clinical, epidemiological and quality purposes. These records are also used by WHO Member States to compile national mortality and morbidity statistics. Finally, ICD is used for reimbursement and resource allocation decision-making by countries. For more information on ICD, go to: www.who.int/classifications/icd

                          Media contacts
                          Christian Lindmeier, tel: +41 22 791 19 48, mob: +41 79 500 65 52, email: lindmeierch@who.int
                          Olivia Lawe Davies, tel: +41 22 791 12 09, mob: +41 79 475 55 45, email: lawedavieso@who.int

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by sharon sanders View Post
                            [COLOR=#000000][FONT=Geneva][SIZE=12px] From: WorldHealthOrganizationNews@who.int [Edit Address Book]


                            Terms that should be avoided in disease names include geographic locations (e.g. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Spanish Flu, Rift Valley fever), people?s names (e.g. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Chagas disease), species of animal or food (e.g. swine flu, bird flu, monkey pox), cultural, population, industry or occupational references (e.g. legionnaires), and terms that incite undue fear (e.g. unknown, fatal, epidemic).
                            Some of this makes sense, but some of this is preposterous.

                            I fully agree with the desire to avoid place names, especially of large, well-known places. We had this discussion before. This coronavirus should never have been called MERS, for it stigmatizes the Middle East. It's probably too late now. But beyond that, this gets weird...

                            There is a long history of naming both agents and the diseases they cause after their discoverer. Why do we want to avoid this? It's an honor to the scientist who discovered it. I'm pretty sure both examples above are named after the scientist or scientists who discovered them. I don't even have a problem with naming a disease after a famous or well-known victim, or even its first known victim, unless there's a risk of stigmatizing the family of the patient.

                            It gets weirder from there. Swine flu affects pigs. Bird flu affects birds. Monkeypox affects monkeys. Why wouldn't we want to include the name of the affected species in the disease name? I can understand why we didn't want to call Pandemic H1N1 "swine flu" (because it was spreading H2H, but apart from that, what's wrong with using an animal name if that animal is affected or involved in the transmission of the disease?

                            Occupations? If a disease is primarily or only affecting certain occupations, why not include it in the name? Legionnaires disease got its unfortunate name before it was known how it spread, so I can understand why that name isn't correct, but in general, that's as important a clue as words like "juvenile" or "winter", which the post states are acceptable. After all, isn't "juvenile" the occupation of most children?

                            Terms that incite undue fear? What does that even mean? The three examples above are nonsensical. You wouldn't put the word "unknown" in the name of a disease because once it has a name, it's not unknown anymore. "Fatal"? No disease is 100% fatal, so why would you put that in the name? Epidemic? To me, that's an epidemiological term, just like the "winter" or "juvenile" above, indicating in this case that the disease occurs in large clusters. After all, if "epidemic" is a bad word, then why isn't "pandemic"?

                            I have to question what the person who wrote this article was thinking.

                            Comment

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