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WHO is Now Renaming Diseases in a ‘Politically Correct’ Way

fukuda  WHO is Now Renaming Diseases in a ‘Politically Correct’ Way fukuda

Dr. Keiji Fuduka

Apparently, some current disease names are hurting both people and animals. The World Health Organization has released a list of guidelines for naming diseases in the proper, politically correct way — because apparently insensitive names can have disastrous effects on entire economies and countries. “Terms that should be avoided in disease names include geographic locations (e.g. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Spanish Flu, Rift Valley fever), people’s names, species of animal or food, cultural, population, industry or occupational references, and terms that incite undue fear,” the report advises. [1] In what can only be considered as “collective brain-fart”, the health body bizarrely declared swine flu, bird flu and monkey pox should be abolished as terms to avoid a backlash against animals. [4] WHO, a UN agency that gets £35 million of British taxpayers’ money a year, said the terms could have a “negative impact” on travel, tourism or animal welfare. Apparently, WHO considers political correctness to be more important in a disease’s name than giving information about the disease. “We’ve seen certain disease names provoke a backlash against members of particular religious or ethnic communities, create unjustified barriers to travel, commerce and trade, and trigger the needless slaughtering of food animals,” said Dr. Keiji Fuduka, WHO’s assistant director-general for health security. [1] So, according to this liberal logic, if “swine flu” is a no-go because it is offensive to pigs, that means that “chicken pox” would also be unacceptable because it’s offensive to chickens. In an interview with NPR, Fukuda explained that the term “swine flu” is problematic because “in Egypt, in essence, all of the pigs were killed because they thought that was the cause of the disease.” [17] Of course, as National Review noted, swine flu does in fact come from swine. [1]

who  WHO is Now Renaming Diseases in a ‘Politically Correct’ Way whoLast week, WHO released its new “best practices” for disease-naming, which it wants “scientists, national authorities and the media” to follow. The guidelines are designed to avoid “stigmatizing certain communities or economic sectors.” [4] The best practices apply to new infections, syndromes, and diseases that have never been recognized or reported before in humans, that have potential public health impact, and for which there is no disease name in common usage. They do not apply to disease names that are already established. [2] The best practices state that a disease name should consist of generic descriptive terms, based on the symptoms that the disease causes (e.g. respiratory disease, neurologic syndrome, watery diarrhoea) and more specific descriptive terms when robust information is available on how the disease manifests, who it affects, its severity or seasonality (e.g. progressive, juvenile, severe, winter). If the pathogen that causes the disease is known, it should be part of the disease name (e.g. coronavirus, influenza virus, salmonella). Terms that should be avoided in disease names include geographic locations (e.g. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Spanish Flu, Rift Valley fever), people’s names (e.g. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Chagas disease), species of animal or food (e.g. swine flu, bird flu, monkey pox), cultural, population, industry or occupational references (e.g. legionnaires), and terms that incite undue fear (e.g. unknown, fatal, epidemic). WHO developed the best practices for naming new human infectious diseases in close collaboration with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and in consultation with experts leading the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). [2]
MoS2 Template Master  WHO is Now Renaming Diseases in a ‘Politically Correct’ Way who pc lunacy
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Professor Hugh Pennington.

Although Fuduka insists that the wrong name “can have serious consequences for peoples’ [sic] lives and livelihoods,” not everyone considers this to be a huge issue. [1] “This won’t save lives. It comes under the heading of political correctness and I am very sceptical it will have any permanent benefit,” said Bacteriologist Professor Hugh Pennington, according to an article in The Daily Mail. “As for avoiding upsetting animals, that is a load of rubbish,” he added. [7] [16] Virologist and bird flu expert Professor John Oxford said: “This document is laudable in its intent but slightly daft. There is a danger the WHO will be seen as a laughing stock.” The Daily Mail has been joined by a number of other, particularly right-of-center tabloids in decrying the move as “political correctness gone mad.” [8] WHO’s assistant director-general Keiji Fukuda defended the proposal as a move against needless slaughter of animals as well as losses in global trade and travel. The organisation’s Dr Margaret Harris said: “We want to get away from emotive and stigmatising terminology.” [4] The World Health Organization’s new recommendations–which do not replace WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD) but rather will be used to supplement future naming procedures and may lead to some changes in the future, but according to THEM those changes aren’t about political correctness at all. They are in fact about using neutral terminology to give the general public the most accurate picture about certain diseases and the threat it poses to public health. [8] A WHO official even told Nature that discussions for a revised nomenclature were underway before the spat, and that the “impetus was scientific”. [9]

[1] Katherine Timpf, WHO Releases Rules for the Politically Correct Naming of Diseases, National Post, May 11, 2015 2:40 PM
[5] MARTIN DELGADO, Political correctness gone too far?, IOL.co.za, May 12 2015 at 09:34am
[8] Steve Williams, WHO Wants Us to Have Boring Disease Names and That’s a Good Thing, Care2, May 12, 2015 11:30 am
[9] Declan Butler, Politically correct names given to flu viruses, Nature, 23 April 2008
[10] Camille Rivera, WHO issues disease-naming advice to avoid offence, LibertyFact, May 12, 2015, 6:06
[11] Javier Stokes, Lessons From Swine Flu: Avoid Geographic Location When Naming New, Advice Trend, May 12, 2015
[13] Rolando Keller, Follow Best Practices before Naming New Human Infectious Diseases, says WHO, Fact Journalist, May 12, 2015
[14] Heather Stark, WHO Establishes Guidelines in Naming Newly Discovered Infectious Diseases, State Chronicles, May 11, 2015
[15] Ervin Norris, WHO warns scientists against assigning arbitrary names to newly discovered, Fact Specialist, 05 June 2015


About Bill Wallace

Bill Wallace is a self-fashioned writter, a computer programmer and cybermarketer from Quebec City, Canada who decided to enter the political arena after his disillusionment with the socialist system under which he was living in the French Canadian province of Quebec.

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