acquired immune deficiency syndrome: a serious disease that destroys the body’s immune system (=its ability to defend itself against infection) and usually causes death. AIDS is passed from one person to another through body fluids (=liquids), especially blood and semen. People first become HIV-positive and then develop full-blown AIDS
amoebic dysentery noun
a serious disease caused by an amoeba that affects your bowels and makes you go to the toilet very frequently and become very weak
a serious disease in which the blood becomes infected with a type of small worm. It is common in Africa, Asia, and South America.
bird flu noun
a type of flu (=an infectious disease that makes you hot and cold, tired and weak) that affects chickens and some other birds and animals and can also infect humans
the Black Death noun
a disease that killed millions of people in Europe and Asia in the 14th century. Its medical name is bubonic plague.
bubonic plague noun
a serious infectious disease that killed millions of people in Europe and Asia in the past but is now fairly rare. It is passed on by the fleas that live on black rats.
an infectious disease that most children get once, in which the skin is covered with red spots. Chickenpox is a more serious disease in adults.
a disease passed on during sex that can damage your reproductive system
a serious disease affecting your stomach and intestines (=the long tube that carries waste out of your body) that often causes death. It is caused by drinking water or eating food infected with bacteria.
chronic fatigue syndrome noun
an illness that makes you feel tired and weak all the time. It sometimes follows an infection by a virus.
a serious disease of the liver, often caused by drinking too much alcohol
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: a serious disease that gradually destroys your brain cells and causes death. Some types may be caused by eating meat from cows that have the disease BSE.
the clap noun
informal old-fashioned a sexually transmitted disease, especially gonorrhoea
Crohn’s disease noun
a disease affecting the lower part of the intestines (=tubes in the stomach that process food and carry waste out of the body)
a virus that usually causes minor infections but can cause serious infections in people with AIDS and very young babies
a serious disease that affects your bowels and makes you go to the toilet very frequently and become very weak
a serious disease that causes you to lose blood from all parts of your body and has a very high death rate
Epstein-Barr virus noun
an infectious virus that makes you feel very tired and weak. Epstein-Barr virus is also called EBV.
German measles noun
British an infectious disease that causes red spots on the skin. German measles is a minor illness in children and adults, but can cause serious physical damage to babies before they are born. A more technical name for this is rubella.
informal a disease affecting your intestine, caused by drinking infected water
a serious disease of the eyes that can make you blind
a disease that affects your thyroid gland and makes your neck swollen
a painful disease that makes the joints in your toes swell
Gulf War Syndrome noun
a disease suffered by soldiers who fought in the 1991 war in the Persian Gulf. The cause of the disease is not exactly known.
an infectious disease of the liver that can be very serious
a disease caused by a virus that can make sore red spots appear on someone’s sex organs or near their mouth
human immunodeficiency virus: a virus that can cause AIDS and is usually passed to someone else by having sex
a serious disease that mainly affects children in Africa and is caused by a lack of protein in the food that they eat
legionnaire’s disease noun
a serious disease of the lungs that leads to severe pneumonia and is usually spread through air conditioning systems
a serious disease that affects the skin, nerves, and bones and can cause people’s fingers and toes to fall off
a disease that affects your immune system and your skin or other parts of your body
Lyme disease noun
a serious disease caused by insects called ticks that can affect your nervous system and heart
mad cow disease noun
an infectious disease common in children in which there are red spots all over the body and a high temperature
Middle East Respiratory (Virus) Syndrome: a serious illness that affects your chest. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
Americaninformal glandular fever
new variant CJD noun
a form of the illness CJD that makes people ill very quickly
nonspecific urethritis: a disease that is spread by having a sexual relationship with someone who is infected
a serious infectious disease that mostly affects children. It destroys muscle and can cause paralysis (=lack of movement in your arms and legs). Polio is a short form of the more technical word poliomyelitis.
a very serious disease that makes an animal or a human feel crazy. Humans get it only if they are bitten by an animal with rabies.
a disease that mainly affects children in which their bones become soft and bend. It is caused by a lack of vitamin D in the food that they eat or by too little exposure to sunlight.
a disease that affects the skin, causing red areas in the shape of a ring
an infectious disease that causes red spots on your skin. Rubella is a minor illness in children and adults, but can cause serious physical damage to babies before they are born. A less technical name for this is German measles.
a disease in which your skin becomes very itchy (=you want to rub it with your nails)
a disease in which the lymph nodes in a person’s neck swell up
a serious disease in which your skin becomes covered in spots that can leave permanent marks
swine flu noun
a disease similar to flu that spreads quickly from one person to another and causes problems such as a sore throat and cough, thought to be related to a virus which infects pigs
a serious disease that you can get by having sex with someone who is already infected with the disease
an infectious disease in which a white substance is produced inside a woman’s vagina
a serious disease that is spread by some small insects
variant CJD noun
variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: a form of CJD (=brain disease) that has recently been recognized and that mainly affects younger people
old-fashioned venereal disease
venereal disease noun
old-fashioned a disease that is spread when people have sex
Weil’s disease noun
a disease affecting animals and sometimes humans, caused by bacteria that are passed through the urine of an infected animal