What do swine flu, monkey pox, and paralytic shellfish poisoning all have in common? Sure, they’re all illnesses but the important commonality according to the World Health Organization is that their names are offensive to animals. We’re all for being friends to animals, is the WHO going too far with their new guidelines concerning the names of certain diseases? WHO officials are calling for a ban on names like swine flu and monkey pox, because they believe that naming diseases after animals brings undue violence against the so-named species. The name bans aren’t actually restricted to animal ailments, however. WHO is calling for an end to call disease names which are associated with “cultural, social, national, regional, professional, or ethnic groups.” By way of example, that would include German measles, Lyme disease, and legionnaire’s disease. The new WHO guidelines go even further into the realm of political correctness by seeking to eliminate the words ‘unknown’, ‘death’, ‘fatal’ and ‘epidemic’ concerning disease outbreaks, as they feel this verbiage incites public fear. Hmmm.
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