List of interesting infectious diseases and reason behind their funny name

By Acharya Tankeshwar •  Updated: 05/13/22 •  2 min read

Common names of some of the infectious diseases are really funny and don’t bear any relationship with their scientific names or etiology. But some of these names are derived from the mode of transmission of diseases and in which group of people, the disease is more prevalent.

Interesting Disease Name

Here I have tried to list some of those funny names. If you know any such other names, please write it in the comment section.

Darling disease: Histoplasma capsulatum causes histoplasmosis which is also called “Darling’s disease”.

American pathologist Samuel Taylor Darling reported histoplasmosis to be a fungal infection in 1905 therefore it is also called ‘darling’s disease.

Kissing disease: Infectious mononucleosis is also called ‘kissing disease’ which is caused by Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). EBV is commonly transmitted by infected saliva and initiates infection in the oropharynx.

Farmer’s lung disease:  Farmer’s lung disease (FLD) is a hypersensitivity pneumonitis that is caused by the inhalation of moldy hay spores. Farmers are at high risk of developing this disease compared with other occupations.

Rose Gardener's Disease
Pic is self illustrative: Rose Gardener’s Disease

Rose Gardner’s disease: Sporotrichosis also called rose gardener’s disease,  is caused by Sporothrix schenckiii.

Sporotrichosis is occupational hazard for farmers, nursery workers, gardeners, and florists.

Swimming pool granuloma/Fish Tank granuloma:  It is a disease caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), Mycobacterium marinum. The normal habitat of Mycobacterium marinum is the sea or fresh water and traumatic injury while swimming/cleaning a fish tank/ aquarium might help to acquire this infection.

chicken pox cartoon

Fifth Disease: Erythema infectiosum (also called the fifth disease) is the most common manifestation of human parvovirus B19  infection. This disease, got its name because it was fifth in a list of historical classifications of common skin rash illnesses in children.

Chickenpox: Do not get confused, chickenpox does not have any relationship with neither chicken nor the Poxvirus. Varicella-zoster virus causes varicella (chickenpox), which is a highly contagious but mild disease mainly in children. It is characterized by a generalized vesicular eruption of skin and mucus membranes.

Acharya Tankeshwar

Hello, thank you for visiting my blog. I am Tankeshwar Acharya. Blogging is my passion. As an asst. professor, I am teaching microbiology and immunology to medical and nursing students at PAHS, Nepal. I have been working as a microbiologist at Patan hospital for more than 10 years.

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