世卫组织决定用希腊字母重新命名新冠变种毒株
日期:2021-06-03 07:59

(单词翻译:单击)

The World Health Organization has proposed new names for Coronavirus variants using letters from the Greek alphabet.

世界卫生组织提出用希腊字母表的字母重新命名新冠变种毒株。

WHO's naming scheme will be used to label noteworthy strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, such as 'Delta' for the variant first detected in India, also known as B.1.617.2.

世卫组织将为值得关注的新冠病毒变种重新命名,比如将印度首次发现的变种毒株命名为Delta,该毒株又名为B.1.617.2。

Naming variants after a geographical location — such as a country — is misleading because a Covid variant didn't necessarily emerge where it was initially identified, but people from that place are still blamed for a variant's spread of a Covid variant.

根据地理位置(比如一个国家)为变种毒株命名容易产生误解,因为变种不一定是在最先发现的地方产生的,但是那里的人们依然会因为变种病毒的传播而受到指责。

In a letter to the journal Science, researchers concluded that "scientific and media reports should not refer to variants by country names" but admitted that "mutation-based or lineage names are difficult to say and write."

研究人员在致《科学》杂志的一封信中总结道“科学和媒体报道不应该用国名来指代变种”,但是也承认“基于变异的名字或谱系名难念又难写”。


Mark Pallen, professor of microbial genomics at the Quadram Institute and University of East Anglia, suggested alternatives that use a pre-generated list of proper nouns because labels like B.1.617.2 are so tricky to pronounce and remember.

四方研究所和东英吉利亚大学的微生物基因组学教授马克·帕伦建议采用一个固有的专有名词清单来重新命名,因为B.1.617.2这样的标签不好念也不好记。

WHO designed its Greek naming scheme to allow people to talk about Covid variants without using inappropriate labels, says Pallen. "It was so that the media and the public could communicate quickly about the variants."

帕伦称,世卫组织拟定了一个希腊命名计划,让人们不必再用不合适的标签来谈论新冠变种病毒。“这样媒体和公众就可以在谈论变种病毒时快速交流。”

WHO will assign a Greek letter after selecting a 'Variant of Interest' (VOI) — a strain with mutations that seem to increase local cases or impact health — or a 'Variant of Concern' (VOC) that also spreads more readily, is more virulent (causes severe disease) or can escape the immunity provided by vaccines.

世卫组织会在选出“待观察变种”或“须关切变种”后分配希腊字母。“待观察变种”就是导致本地病例增加或影响患者健康的变种,“须关切变种”就是在此基础上传染性更强、加重患者病情或疫苗对其无效的变种。

As of 31 May 2021, WHO had assigned names to six VOIs and four VOCs. The four worrying variants have been named Alpha (AKA lineage B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1) and Delta (B.1.617.2), which were first detected in the UK, South Africa, Brazil and India respectively.

截至2021年5月31日,世卫组织已经给6个待观察变种和4个须关切变种指定了名字。这4个值得关注的变种分别被命名为Alpha(又名为B.1.1.7)、Beta(B.1.351)、Gamma(P.1)和Delta(B.1.617.2),首次发现这些变种的地点分别是英国、南非、巴西和印度。

WHO's scheme has solved a major problem: labels based on location can create social stigma and lead to racism. Using Greek letters provides a practical solution because the new names are easy to say, write and remember. There's no excuse not to use them.

名字基于地点的标签会造成社会污名化,引发种族歧视,而世卫组织的命名计划解决了这个大问题。采用希腊字母也很实用,因为新名字好念、好写也好记。没有理由不用这些新名字。

Persuading the media to use Greek letters could still be a challenge, however. A press release that announces the scheme ends by saying that, to avoid using names that are stigmatizing and discriminatory, "WHO encourages national authorities, media outlets and others to adopt these new labels."

然而,说服媒体采用希腊字母名依然是个挑战。一篇宣布该计划的新闻稿的结尾是这样写的:为了避免使用带来污名和歧视的名字,“世卫组织鼓励各国政府部门、媒体机构和其他各方都采用这些新标签。”

WHO's approach has some minor limitations. Delta Airlines probably won't be pleased to have its brand associated with a Covid variant, for example, and it's not clear what will happen after variants inevitably outnumber the letters from the Greek alphabet.

不过,世卫组织的命名方式也有一些小小的局限性。举例来说,达美航空公司应该不希望自己的品牌名和新冠变种联系在一起,而且当变种数量不可避免地超过希腊字母表的字母数量时,又该怎么办呢?

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