February 19, 2005

Its all in a name

Call me crazy but I'm all for a good public health scare now and again. And the best part is that the whole thing depends, absolutely, on the name of the pathogen. The latest name that has been gripping my mind is 'monkeypox.' Straight out of the David Letterman show. Monkeypox. And Creutzfeldt-Jakob just doesn't have the same entertainment value as 'Mad Cow Disease'. Just think of all those angry cows staring down farmer Brown. And the mental image of having the disease and turning into a mad cow, chewing your cud and bucking the boards on your stall. When I think of the Bubonic Plague, part of the fun is the word 'bubonic'. What does it mean? Must be awful, especially given the way bubonic bubbles across the tongue. One disease that really got shortchanged in the name department is smallpox. It just doesn't sell tickets, 'smallpox.' Another good one is Whooping Cough. Its one heck of a whooping cough.


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