What’s in a Disease Name? A Lot.

Ebola is named after the Ebola River. Marburg virus after a German university town. Legionnaires’ Disease was coined after an outbreak at an American Legion convention.
These nicknames may roll off the tongue—but they can also “provoke a backlash against members of particular religious or ethnic communities, create unjustified barriers to travel, commerce and trade, and trigger needless slaughtering of food animals,” WHO’s Keiji Fukuda said in 2015—the same year the agency requested that diseases no longer be given such nicknames.
But it’s too late for some diseases. That’s the thing about nicknames—they stick.

Comments +


Post a Comment

Restricted HTML

  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Back to top