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The use of phrases such as ‘Wuhan virus’, ‘China virus’ and ‘Chinese virus’ is prevalent, even among academics.
Considering the fact that, to date, no evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 was originated in Wuhan, the use of these phrases to refer to SARS-CoV-2 is unjustifiable and unscientific.
In this paper, we discussed how the use of these terms violates the research ethics proposed by the National Institute of Health, ranging from objectivity to responsibility.
In addition, we emphasised the fact that these phrases are discriminatory and can have a negative impact on Wuhan and Chinese people’s health and well-being.
We concluded by calling for ceasing to use these phrases, as fundamentally, they are misleading and can distract the public’s attention from the most important issue of the day: how to stop the virus from spreading.
In many areas of the world, phrases such as ‘Wuhan virus’, ‘China virus’ and ‘Chinese virus’ have been frequently used by laypeople, influential politicians and mass media to refer to the virus SARS-CoV-2 that caused the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Naming a virus after a geographic location or group of people is not unheard-of, for example, the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and the Legionnaires’ disease.2 However, having precedence is not a de facto justification for using these alternatives, as mentioned above, to SARS-CoV-2. Replacing SARS-CoV-2 with ‘Wuhan virus’, ‘China virus’ or ‘Chinese virus’ hinders the public’s understanding and perception of the novel coronavirus.
Inhibiting COVID-19 research development, similar to the accounts of MERS and Legionnaires’ disease, these terms are biased since not only Wuhan or Chinese people would contract the disease (until an iota of evidence emerges that somewhat hints the otherwise). These representations …
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