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17 Diseases Named After Places Or People

Here are 17 other diseases named after populations or places while woke activists object to the term “Wuhan virus” as racist and xenophobic.


While liberals and woke media elites obsess over calling Republicans racist for using the term “Wuhan virus,” the practice of naming a new disease after a population or the site of its first major outbreak is actually pretty common. In fact, pundits used the term widely to identify the origins of the epidemic.

In this case however, it’s even more important to identify the new Wuhan coronavirus sweeping the globe with its origin in the Chinese city of Wuhan as China tried to mask the warning signs of a global outbreak and downplay its severity leading to what the World Health Organization has now declared a “global pandemic.”

Here are 17 other diseases named after populations or places:

  • West Nile Virus

Named after the West Nile District of Uganda discovered in 1937.

  • Guinea Worm

Named by European explorers for the Guinea coast of West Africa in the 1600s.

  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Named after the mountain range spreading across western North America first recognized first in 1896 in Idaho.

  • Lyme Disease

Named after a large outbreak of the disease occurred in Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut in the 1970s.

  • Ross River Fever

Named after a mosquito found to cause the disease in the Ross River of Queensland, Australia by the 1960s. The first major outbreak occurred in 1928.

  • Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever

Named after its 1940s discovery in Omsk, Russia.

  • Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Named in 1976 for the Ebola River in Zaire located in central Africa.

  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

Also known as “camel flu,” MERS was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and all cases are linked to those who traveled to the Middle Eastern peninsula.

  • Valley Fever

Valley Fever earned its nickname from a 1930s outbreak San Joaquin Valley of California, though its first case came from Argentina.

  • Marburg Virus Disease

Named after Marburg, Germany in 1967.

  • Norovirus

Named after Norwalk, Ohio after an outbreak in 1968.

  • Zika Fever

First discovered in 1947 and named after the Zika Forest in Uganda.

  • Japanese Encephalitis

Named after its first case in Japan in 1871.

  • German Measles

Named after the German doctors who first described it in the 18th century. The disease is also sometimes referred to as “Rubella.”

  • Spanish Flu

While the true origins of the Spanish Flu remain unknown, the disease earned its name after Spain began to report deaths from the flu in its newspapers.

  • Lassa Fever

Named after the being found in Lassa, Nigeria in 1969.

  • Legionnaire’s Disease

Named in 1976 following an outbreak of people contracting the lung infection after attending an American Legion convention in Philadelphia.