Are Diseases Capitalized?

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Diseases can be capitalized or not depending on certain situations. Primarily, diseases named after people should always be capitalized. Also, any disease that is the first word in a sentence or used in a title/headline should be capitalized.

Below is a list of diseases that should always be capitalized:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome (abbreviated as MERS)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Huntington’s disease

The following diseases are not generally capitalized unless used in a title or as the first word in a sentence:

  • diabetes (including type 1 and type 2)
  • flu
  • influenza
  • cold
  • cancer
  • heart disease
  • coronavirus (except when abbreviated as COVID-19)
  • kidney disease
  • chronic lower respiratory disease
  • pneumonia
  • human immunodeficiency virus (except when abbreviated as HIV)
  • acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (except when abbreviated as AIDS)
  • hepatitis A/B/C
  • malaria
  • typhoid
  • tetanus
  • dengue
  • tuberculosis
  • celiac disease
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome (expect when abbreviated as SARS)
  • human papillomavirus infection (except when abbreviated as HPV)

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