New name for disease caused by virus outbreak: COVID-19

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LONDON (AP) – The World Health Organization announced an official name for the new disease caused by a new virus that emerged in China last year and has since sickened tens of thousands of people: COVID-19.

At a press briefing on Tuesday, the director-general of the U.N. health agency said it was necessary to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, animal, individual or group of people but that was pronounceable and related to the disease.

The new disease is caused by a coronavirus that was first identified in late 2019. 

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