SARS-CoV-2 variants could be named after star constellations if Greek letters run out: WHO

London, Aug 8: Future variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, could be named after star constellations when Greek letters run out, Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) technical chief for COVID-19, told The Telegraph.

In late May, the WHO said that the strains of COVID-19 would be named with Greek letters in order to avoid associating them with certain territories and countries. There are 24 letters in the Greek alphabet.

“We’re actually considering star constellations … We were going to go with Greek gods or goddesses, and I said please, please don’t make me say that publicly,” Van Kerkhove said.

She confirmed that there was a real threat of the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 mutations that could make existing vaccines ineffective.

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