News Release

AMA Manual of Style updates coronavirus nomenclature

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Oxford University Press USA

In December 2019, an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus was identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Since then various organizations and media outlets have struggled to identify the respiratory illness correctly.

The AMA Manual of Style, written by editors of the JAMA Network and published by Oxford University Press, has released guidance on the terminology.

The AMA Manual of Style addresses coronavirus (CoV) in section 14.14.3, Virus Nomenclature, which includes information on Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) Coronaviridae Study Group has determined that the new virus belongs to the existing species severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus. Thus, the new virus name recommended is severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

The World Health Organization has named the new disease coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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