BBC NEWS | Wales | E.coli school testing under way

Since their E. coli “virus” gaffe, I’ve been watching BBC Health news to see what was next. The answer: studious avoidance of actually coming out and either admitting a mistake, or calling it a bacteria (bacterium for the stickler in the audience).

As an example, here’s today’s story about E. coli:

BBC NEWS | Wales | E.coli school testing under way: “….So far 159 people, most of them children, have been affected by the spread of the E.coli 0157 bug which first emerged in September.”

So, there you have it. It’s a bug (I do call them bugs when discussing infections with patients, but I’m not a News Organization).

And I’m never going to get tired of that petri dish photo.


  1. I also hope you never get tired of watching them. News organizations as big as the BBC should be more responsible….expecially when it comes to patient education.

    I think you’re already making them cautious of their medical terminologies. E.coli has been called a “virus,” and now to play safe — and be bloody clever — they use the term “bug.”


  2. Anonymous says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong: shouldn’t E. coli be in italics…does the BBC not pay any attention to nomenclature?

  3. Yes, and I haven’t followed that convention either. From my school days, either italics or underlined would be the correct way to set off the name.