Diseases and the viruses or bacteria that cause them often have different names. For instance, the “human immunodeficiency virus”, HIV, causes “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome”, AIDS.
The virus causing the current outbreak is called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, shortened to SARS-CoV-2. The disease is called coronavirus disease, shortened to COVID-19.
These names have been assigned by the World Health Organization and the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.22
The WHO also refers to the virus as “the virus responsible for COVID-19” or “the COVID-19 virus” when communicating with the public. We follow the same conventions here.