Funny Name of Infectious Diseases

Common names of some infectious diseases are funny and don’t relate to 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 other names, please write them in the comment section.

Darling disease

Histoplasma capsulatum causes histoplasmosis, 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 called ‘kissing disease,’ 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 caused by inhaling moldy hay spores. Farmers are at a higher risk of developing this disease than other occupations.

Rose Gardner’s disease

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

Sporotrichosis, also called rose gardener’s disease,  is caused by Sporothrix schenckiii. Sporotrichosis is an 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 usual 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
Chicken pox?

Fifth Disease

Erythema infectiosum (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.


The question was, “Write properties of a virus causing chickenpox.” I got the answer: It is a pox virus infecting chickens. But: Chickenpox is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus, a member of the herpes simplex virus family, not a poxvirus.

Do not get confused, chickenpox does not have any relationship with either chicken or the Poxvirus. Varicella-zoster virus causes varicella (chickenpox), highly contagious but mild disease 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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