The new coronavirus has been named COVID-19, the World Health Organization announced Tuesday.
This strain of coronavirus was first detected in December in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The virus, which has since infected thousands in China and several other countries, had been nameless since the outbreak began. It was commonly referred to as 2019-nCoV by health officials.
The UN health agency explained that the name COVID-19 consists of the CO in coronavirus, VI in virus and D for disease; 19 stands for the year 2019.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the name was carefully chosen to avoid stigma and that other names could be inaccurate.
“We had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, or an individual or group of people,” he said.