Naming a disease is a complex task. To be useful, names should be unique, descriptive, and easy to remember, especially for easy reference in emergency medical situations. The easiest way to name a disease may be to give it an identification number, but when time is of the essence, referencing that system efficiently becomes very difficult.
It may seem intuitive to name diseases based on their origin or place of discovery. However, this approach also has problems. As our world increasingly boasts a global citizenship, diseases and their names can spread across different cultures, and we need to be sensitive and inclusive to everyone who may encounter them. has become indispensable.
In light of recent conversations about disease nomenclature, Stacker uses a range of news, science, and government sources to explain how the names of “monkeypox” and other diseases have sparked controversy. This is not an exhaustive list of the issues surrounding disease naming, but it explores some of the difficult means of giving nomenclature to diseases that are shorthand for public debate.
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