Are Diseases Capitalized?

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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