disease v illness

What's the difference between a disease and an illness? Both translate as enfermedad.

This is a difficult one to explain. Let me try.

A disease is a specific condition or a diagnosable problem with symptoms. However people can have a disease but still feel well.
  • Pope John Paul II suffered from Parkinson's disease.
  • More and more elderly people have Alzheimer's disease.
  • The first symptom of the disease is a high temperature.
  • She caught a strange skin disease while travelling through Africa.

An illness is a state of feeling ill. Nothing specific has been diagnosed.

  • She died peacefully at home after a long illness.
  • She had a week off work because of illness.
  • Mental illness is more common than you would think.
  • If your child shows any sign of illness, take her to a doctor.

I hope that is a bit clearer.


Montse said…
Hi, Graham. I've read this post.

See you!