It is said that the names of diseases are not just names, often there is a politics around them. Perhaps because of all the controversies, many people are still calling the corona virus as the Wuhan virus. US President Donald Trump was calling it a Chinese virus until a few days ago. China admits that all this is being asked to tease him, in response he is trying to prove that the virus was actually originated in America and came from China. This is not the first time that this kind of politics is going on in the world due to an epidemic. This can be better understood by the example of ‘Spanish flu’. Interestingly, 102 years ago, ‘Spanish flu’, which killed millions or perhaps millions of people all over the world, did not start from Spain, but in the balance of power that emerged after the First World War, Spain stood in such a place that it was named Could not stop
Experts have not yet been able to form a clear opinion about where that epidemic started a century ago. One belief is that the epidemic started in Boston Harbor Island, USA. It was on the last day of the First World War, one disease was spreading rapidly, and one after another, on many fronts, the army was preyed upon. But no country wanted to accept it, because it could discourage the entire army. The French army gave it a code name – Disease XI, ie disease number eleven. This was probably the first name given to that flu. At the same time, Spain was a country whose army officially acknowledged that there is a disease, which is spreading rapidly. Due to this acceptance, enemy countries started calling it ‘Spanish Flu’. Although the disease was spreading rapidly, the name did not spread as fast.
The world war was almost over. The soldiers were returning home and carrying an unknown disease. Different reactions were seen in every country. The easiest way was to put the responsibility on the enemy country. Spain said that the disease came from Portugal, whereas Portugal was saying that it was from Spain. Persia said that Britain had sent it to him. Senegal called it ‘Brazilian flu’, while Brazil was calling it ‘German flu’. The revolution had started in Russia then and Bolshevik forces were infiltrating Poland, so when the disease spread to Poland, it was called ‘Bolshevik Flu’.
But it was not so everywhere that it was overcrowded by the enemy. On 29 May 1918, a ship anchored off the coast of Bombay (now Mumbai). The ship, which brought Indian troops back from the war, stayed on that coast for 48 hours. On June 10, news came that seven policemen posted on the coast had died of a new disease. By then the disease had spread throughout the country with the soldier on board. Since the first news of the disease came from Bombay, Indian doctors started calling it ‘Bombay Flu’. However, when the disease became an epidemic in India, the common people considered it to be a plague and said so. For them, the plague meant plague. It entered Japan somewhat differently. Some sumo wrestlers went abroad to play wrestling tournaments. When he returned, he was ill. It was through this that the disease spread in Japan, so it was called ‘Sumo Flu’ there.
But soon all the countries realized that the disease spreading in them is actually a global epidemic. Now instead of giving different names a common name was needed. And that name was Spanish flu. But when there were so many other names, why was this name accepted? Probably because the First World War was won by Allied Powers. The leading countries of this group were Britain and Russia. They had got their strength ironed, so the same name came out, which they accepted.
Britain and Russia had agreed to that point at that time, but this time why could not the US, which is considered to be the greatest power of the world, get its word? Is this a sign of America’s wear and tear? It is not just about naming. For the first time, there is such a crisis in the world, in which America itself is looking helpless and desperate. It is being said from the beginning that this is the first such crisis in the last half century, when America does not appear to be leading the world.
But is it wrong to call the corona virus a Chinese virus? Many diseases are often associated with places. This is an old tradition. The Ebola virus was named a river in the Congo, which is believed to have originated here. Similarly, the zika virus got its name from a forest in Uganda. If it can, then why is the China virus or Wuhan virus wrong?
Five years ago, the World Health Organization had passed a resolution describing how to name new diseases and microbes that spread infections. It is also considered a naming protocol. This proposal says that a disease or germ cannot be named after a person or a person. Some time ago some scientists discovered a bacterium that does not have any antibiotic effect. When it was called the ‘New Delhi Bug’, India was strongly opposed to it and eventually it was renamed ‘Super Bug’ due to this naming protocol. That is to say, the matter is not just about the US ’emaciated power, it was also morally wrong to say Chinese virus.


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