Is COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Capitalized?

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The coronavirus pandemic has spread quickly across the globe in 2020 and we want to make sure that news sources are capitalizing the disease correctly when reporting on it.

Is COVID-19 Capitalized?

As we did in our headline on this page, the Associated Press says that the abbreviated name of the disease should be written in all capital letters as “COVID-19” which is short for “coronavirus disease 2019.”

This is also true for the official name of the disease “SARS-CoV-2” except that the “o” in this name is lowercase.

You should also capitalize other coronavirus diseases include “SARS” (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and “MERS” (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

Is Coronavirus Capitalized?

Even when referring to the novel (new) coronavirus, you should not capitalize coronavirus unless used in a headline or abbreviated to “COVID-19.”

The word “coronavirus” can refer to a number of different viruses ranging from the common cold to the 2019 novel coronavirus. Since there are a number of coronavirus variants, coronavirus is usually lowercase except when used in a headline.

Recommended Reading:

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.


Capitalize My Title is a dynamic title capitalization tool used to make sure your titles or headlines use proper capitalization rules according to various style guides include APA, AP, MLA, and Chicago. It also counts your words and checks for grammar issues.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Right. The article is wrong to say COVID-19 is an abbreviation for coronavirus. As you said, it’s the name of the disease. Oddly, they explained “COVID-19” correctly above and “coronavirus” correctly below.

    Also, the Associated Press is one news organization with one opinion. The New York Times (“Covid-19”) and the Washington Post (“covid-19”) are other news organizations, and they both disagree with AP.

    Maybe look to the World Health Organization. They named COVID-19.

    • Early in the year, I remember reading (somewhere…) that “CoViD-19” was the “correct” capitalization. Being one of those Type-A, perfectionistic, annoyingly-desiring-to-be-accurate people, I decided to confirm my method. I’m kind of disappointed that you and I seem to be the minority. I would be willing to concede that “CoviD-19” could be an alternativve, since coronavirus is technically a single word. Alas: Wouldn’t CD-19 have been simpler? “Seedy-19” rolls of the tongue almost as well as “Wuhan Flu.”

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