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Nosophobia is the irrational fear of contracting a disease, a type of specific phobia. Primary fears of this kind are fear of contracting COVID-19 (coronaphobia), HIV infection (AIDS phobia or HIV serophobia),[1] pulmonary tuberculosis (phthisiophobia),[2] venereal diseases (syphilophobia or venereophobia),[3] cancer (carcinophobia), heart diseases (cardiophobia[4]), and catching the cold or flu.

Some authors have suggested that the medical students' disease should accurately be referred to as "nosophobia" rather than "hypochondriasis", because the quoted studies show a very low percentage of hypochondriacal character of the condition.[5]

The word nosophobia comes from the Greek νόσος nosos for "disease".

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  1. ^ Mariner WK (November 1995). "AIDS phobia, public health warnings, and lawsuits: deterring harm or rewarding ignorance?". American Journal of Public Health. 85 (11): 1562–8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.85.11.1562. PMC 1615706. PMID 7485674.
  2. ^ Riva MA, Ploia PR, Rocca S, Cesana G (September 2013). ""Phthisiophobia": the difficult recognition of transmission of tuberculosis to health care workers". La Medicina Del Lavoro. 104 (5): 359–67. PMID 24180084.
  3. ^ Janssen, Diederik F. (2020). "Noddle Pox: Syphilis and the Conception of Nosomania/Nosophobia (c. 1665–c. 1965)". Canadian Bulletin of Medical History. University of Toronto Press Inc. (UTPress). 37 (2): 319–359. doi:10.3138/cbmh.432-032020. ISSN 0823-2105.
  4. ^ Eifert GH (July 1992). "Cardiophobia: a paradigmatic behavioural model of heart-focused anxiety and non-anginal chest pain". Behaviour Research and Therapy. 30 (4): 329–45. doi:10.1016/0005-7967(92)90045-I. PMID 1616469.
  5. ^ Hunter RC, Lohrenz JG, Schwartzman AE (August 1964). "Nosophobia and hypochondriasis in medical students". The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. 139: 147–52. doi:10.1097/00005053-196408000-00008. PMID 14206454.

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