What's in a disease name? WHO has recommendations

May 13, 2015 1:24 PM

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(CNN)Mad cow disease. The name alone strikes fear in the hearts of beef eaters and tourists. Following one of the numerous outbreaks in northern England in 2001, authorities had to urge visitors to return to the nation's idyllic countryside-turned-ghost town.

Last week, the WHO issued best practices for how to name a newly born or identified human infectious disease. Scientists and the public should strike from their list of disease names any mention of an animal species, such as avian flu and mad cow disease; type of food; cultural or occupational refer...

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