“It’s a Good Name. It’s Kind of Catchy.” Novel coronavirus, Covid, ’rona, and how we settle on names for deadly outbreaks

“Most viruses that cause human disease are named for the disease itself,” said Stephen Berger, a founder and medical adviser at the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network, in an email. “The virus that causes measles is called ‘Measles virus’ and the virus of influenza is called ‘Influenza virus.’ ”