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Medical Quiz: Disease Names – Answers

by Suzanne Daniluk, RN on August 15th, 2014

Match diseases with names:

  1. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
A.   Mary Mallon
  1. Neurofibromatosis
B.   Fredrick Daniel von Recklinghausen
  1. Salmonella typhi
C.  Lou Gehrig
  1. Leprosy
D.   Hans C. J. Reiter
  1. Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis
E.   Hakaru Hashimoto
  1. Reactive arthritis
F.   Gerhard Hansen


  1. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis – (C) The neurodegenerative disease is also named after baseball hall of famer Lou Gehrig (1903-1941).
  2. Neurofibromatosis – (B) Von Recklinghausen disease or neurofibromatosis, a nerve tumor disorder, is named for the pathologist who first described it in 1882. Englishman Joseph Merrick (1862-1890) was the famous “Elephant Man” thought to have had the disease.
  3. Salmonella typhi – (A) Mary Mallon, a/k/a “Typhoid Mary”, as called in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1908, was the first known carrier of Salmonella typhi which causes Typhoid Fever. She worked as a cook, thereby spreading the disease to dozens until she was eventually apprehended and quarantined for the rest of her life on an island in New York City’s East River. Salmonella is named after a veterinary pathologist, Daniel Elmer Salmon, although a man named “Smith” actually discovered the bacteria. See the quarantine island today:
  4. Leprosy – (F) Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s disease, for the Norwegian physician who identified causative bacteria Mycobacterium leprae.

  5. Chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis – (E) Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disorder of the thyroid gland and the most common cause of hypothyroidism in parts of the world without sufficient iodine levels. It was named after Japanese surgeon Hakaru Hashimoto (1881 – 1934).
  6. Reactive arthritis – (D) Another autoimmune disorder, reactive arthritis, was formerly known as Reiter’s Syndrome for German physician Hans C. J. Reiter, until his Nazi past was revealed.


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