Publications & Reports

Toponymous diseases of Australia.

Appuhamy RD, Tent J, Mackenzie JS
Health Protection Directorate, Queensland Health, Brisbane, QLD, Australia. [email protected]


Names are more than just labels used to identify diseases. They can be windows into the discovery, characteristics and attributes of the disease. Toponymous diseases are diseases that are named after places. Hendra, Ross River, Bairnsdale, Murray Valley and Barmah Forest are all examples of Australian places that have had diseases named after them. They all have unique and interesting stories that provide a glimpse into their discovery, history and culture. Because of perceived negative connotations, the association of diseases with placenames has sometimes generated controversy.


  • Journal: The Medical Journal of Australia
  • Published: 06/12/2010
  • Volume: 193
  • Issue: 11-12
  • Pagination: 642-646