Why do we say "pandemia DA coronavirus" and not "pandemia DI coronavirus"?

PS: I have read extensively about the two prepositions and no case of what I have come across explains the usage of DA in this sentence.

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    This also seems surprising to me because you can find, for instance, here, the expression "epidemia di COVID-19", but, for example, here or here, "pandemia da COVID-19". So, it's a very interesting question. – Charo Apr 22 '20 at 15:30
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    It could be a tacit "causata": pandemia [causata] da coronavirus. – linuxfan says Reinstate Monica Apr 22 '20 at 15:42
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    Maybe it can be said both ways? With "pandemia da COVID-19" meaning "pandemia causata dalla COVID-19" and "pandemia di COVID-19" meaning "pandemia della malattia chiamata COVID-19"? – Charo Apr 22 '20 at 15:47
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    And maybe the point is that "coronavirus" is the virus. Well, in fact it's a family of viruses that includes SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease called COVID-19. So you can have a pandemic of a certain disease or caused by a certain disease. But the pandemic is caused by a virus, it's not a "pandemic of a virus". – Charo Apr 22 '20 at 16:28
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    Yes, it's epidemia di influenza (because influenza is the disease). Instead, coronavirus is the cause of the pandemic, so pandemia da coronavirus or pandemia di covid-19. – egreg Apr 22 '20 at 21:49

We can't say pandemia di coronavirus, because pandemia can have as a specification the name of a disease. The name of the disease is covid-19, so we can say either

pandemia di covid-19


pandemia da coronavirus

The virus is the cause of the pandemic, not the effect, hence da. Similarly, it's epidemia di influenza, di vaiolo, di Ebola. We can't say epidemia da influenza. It could be epidemia da Ebola if we think to Ebola as the name of the virus.

  • That was very helpful! Thank you! – user11731289 Apr 22 '20 at 21:58
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    However, as I have said in a comment, I have seen both "pandemia" (and "epidemia") "da COVID-19" and "di COVID-19". – Charo Apr 22 '20 at 22:27
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    @Charo People need not know that “covid-19” is the name of the disease. There's great confusion about the topic. Many people don't even know what a virus is, by the way. – egreg Apr 22 '20 at 22:55
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    OK, @egreg, but it seems strange to me that "pandemia da COVID-19" appears in this blog about language, in which, I believe, they are very careful to write well and in which it's explained that COVID-19 is the disease and not the virus. – Charo Apr 23 '20 at 6:53
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    @Charo Well, If I google for the literal "epidemia da vaiolo", I get eight results. This should clear things up, doesn't it? – egreg Apr 23 '20 at 15:17

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