Toponyms that become disease names

7383934724_86a2665963_mThe Zika virus of the Flaviviridae family derived its name in 1947 from the Zika Forest in Uganda where it was first identified in a rhesus monkey. Since that initial isolation, viral outbreaks among humans have been tracked in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and most recently the Americas and Europe.

Given the spread of the virus and the possible link to life-threatening birth defects, African residents of the Zika Forest are worried that negative onomastic associations will endanger their vital tourist industry. Other toponyms which have served as the basis for disease monikers include the West Nile; and Lime, Connecticut.