Zika, Ebola, mad cow: What's in a disease name?

Story highlights

  • WHO issued recommendations for how to name a newly identified disease; no animals, locations or people's names
  • WHO suggests naming a disease after symptoms associated with it
  • Swine flu would go by A(H1N1)pdm09, a name the WHO put forth in 2009

(CNN)Zika Forest is a "nice tourist stop" for people visiting Uganda, according to a local safari company. It is a short drive from the capital city of Kampala, and offers a "convenient taste of a tropical forest," boasts a Ugandan travel agency.

But just try selling a tourist on a visit to the Zika Forest after frightening reports of the virus that it was named after have been dominating headlines.
The Zika virus, which was first observed in a monkey captured in the Zika Forest, mostly cause mild symptoms such as fever and rash. But much more concerning than that, it has been linked with a birth defect known as microcephaly. Pregnant women should even consider avoiding travel to Brazil, Mexico and other areas where Zika is being spread, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.