Naming Diseases

I usually don’t post many articles on here, but I found one called, “W.H.O. Urges More Care in Naming Diseases,” that was recently featured in The New York Times​ very interesting.

The World Health Organization (WHO)​ is asking that when naming a disease, that it should “…not include geographic locations, people’s names, species of animal or food, references to culture, population, industry or occupation, and “terms that incite undue fear.”

Map of the Lyme, CT area (Picture from The State of Connecticut's Department of Public Health)

Map of the Lyme, CT area
(Picture from The State of Connecticut’s Department of Public Health)

Lyme disease was given its name after people living in the Lyme, Connecticut area started experiencing arthritic symptoms.

I personally have been in Old Lyme, CT, to see where the epidemic started. I do want to go back and learn more about the history rather than driving through it. My overall impression was that it was a nice area, lots pretty houses on large properties. While beautiful, I’m not sure if I would want to live there, and I think part of the reason why is because of the name of the disease. I don’t know any thing about the community, except its relationship to Lyme, leading me to believe it that the only reason I do not want to be there because I’ve judged it based upon its name.

Would you live the in the Lyme, Connecticut area? Why or why not?
Do you think the names of diseases should be made under W.H.O. guidelines?
What would you call Lyme disease if you could give it a new name?

These 3 Questions will be the Questions of The Week! 

To learn more about the history of Lyme disease and much more, the Connecticut Department of Public Health has an excellent website.

Sharing what it is like to live with Lyme disease & other chronic illnesses to spread awareness; health advocate;

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