History Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2017-04-18

Names of Diseases in Earlier Times, Sweden

Introduction

Reading old letters, church records etc. you might come across old names of diseases. It might be interesting then to know what type of disease is mentioned. Since many of the old names of diseases are not used today and since many of these names weren’t name of specific diseases but rather descriptions of diseases it is difficult to translate them to names of diseases used today. So, it is difficult to describe a Swedish name of an old disease into modern Swedish if the disease doesn't have a corresponding name today. And of course, it is then even more difficult to translate the diseases to English. Swedish names of diseases in earlier times often ended with "sot" or "röta". For example, rödsot, bleksot, rötfeber and lungröta. However, the different diseases ending in ”-sot” or "-röta"  were not necessarily the same type of disease. "Sot" can be translated to "sickness". The names of diseases in former days were more a description of the diseases’ symptoms rather than defined names of specific diseases. So, a name of a disease in those days could in fact be two or three different diseases according to modern medicine. There are of course different diseases with similar types of symptoms. It was also a custom to name the diseases according to where on the body the symptoms appeared. For example, bröstilska and brösttäppa (bröst = chest). Also, these types of names of diseases could be the same disease or different ones. The knowledge in medicine wasn’t very developed in earlier times so the diagnoses was not very accurate of course. To make things even more complicated; names of diseases could be different in different parts of Sweden. From 1749 the reverends/parish ministers were obliged to note the cause of death in the church records/parish records.

Swedish/English Dictionary

Andtäppa, andnöd

Shortness of breath

Astma

Asthma; A respiratory disease in which spasm and constriction of the bronchial passages and swelling of their mucous lining cause obstruction of breathing, often due to allergy, particularly to dust, animal fur or feathers, molds, and pollen.

Barnkoppor, smittkoppor

"Barnkoppor" = child smallpox. The majority of the persons that got smallpox were children. That is why the disease was also called "barnkoppor". See Smallpox

Barnasjukan, Engelska sjukan

"Engelska sjukan" (The English disease) = Rickets. Barnasjukan = children's disease Classic rickets, a deficiency disease of children characterized by improper development or hardening of bones, is due to lack of sufficient vitamin D in the diet, or to insufficient ultraviolet radiation from direct sunlight, a lack that prevents conversion of the element 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin to vitamin D. The type of skeletal deformities depends largely on the child's age when the vitamin-D deficiency occurs. A child who has not yet learned to walk develops vertebral curvatures; a walking child develops leg curvatures. The British physician Francis Glisson did a very detailed description of the disease. That is way the disease also is called the English disease in some countries. See Rickets.

Barnsängsfeber

Childbed fever

Bleksot, blodbrist, järnblodbrist, vitsot, kloros

Blek = pale, blod = blood, brist = lack of, vit = white "Blodbrist" = anemia/anaemia The most common type of anemia is iron-deficiency anemia, which occurs when the body's need for iron increases, as during certain periods of childhood and in pregnancy, or when there is insufficient iron in the diet. Common among teenage girls. Also called green sickness.

Blesserad

Wounded (in war)

Blodförgiftning

Blood-poisoning (septicemia) Infection of the blood, generally caused either by the presence in the blood of microorganisms or of toxins produced by body cells.  

Blodkoppor, svartkoppor

Blod = blood, svart = black, koppor = pustules or pox (as in smallpox) A disease with severe bleeding pustules.

Brottfälling, brottfall, fallandesjuka, epilepsi

Epilepsy. See "Fallandesjuka" below.

Brännkoppor, vattkoppor

Chickenpox An extremely contagious viral disease, chiefly of children, characterized by early fever, an eruption of papules and vesicles, and mild constitutional disturbances. In most cases, fever is present 24 hours before the eruption appears. The eruption comes out on the face, scalp, or shoulders in crops of red, widely scattered vesicles, spreading slowly over the body, one crop maturing while another is appearing.

Bröstfeber

Pleurisy, pneumonia See "Håll och stygn" below.

Brösthäfta, bröstklämma, bröstkov

Shortness of breath

Bröstskärv, engelska sjukan

Rickets, See "Engelska sjukan" above

Brösttäppa

Shortness of breath

Bröstvärk, fluss

A bronchial type of disease, no fever but coughing and hoarseness. If the diseased got a fever the disease would be "feberfluss" or "bröstfeber".

Difteri, halssjuka

Diphtheria. A serious infectious disease, affecting children particularly, caused by a bacterium that attacks the membranes of the throat and releases a toxin that damages the heart and the nervous system. The main symptoms are fever, weakness, and severe inflammation of the affected membranes. The first case in Sweden was discovered around 1750.

Digerdöden, pesten, svarta pesten

The Black Death, plague. A 14th century plague epidemic: the bubonic plague epidemic that killed over 50 million people throughout Asia and Europe in the 14th century. Black probably from the color of the buboes.

Dragsjuka, krampsjuka

Kramp = cramp, spasm A disease with cramp and spasm. When the diseased get the bouts he will be delirious and wild with rage. Common symptoms are also diarrhea and speckles on the skin. The disease is caused by a mould parasite, in Swedish called "mjöldryga" (ergot). The parasite is common on corn/grain and the fungus are causing a disease with toxic symptoms.

Dröppel / Gonorré

Gonorrhea (US) / gonorrhoea (UK); venereal or genital disease: a sexually transmitted disease that causes inflammation of the genital mucous membrane, burning pain when urinating, and a discharge.

Dysenteri

Dysentery A disease of the lower intestine: the disease of the lower intestine caused by infection with bacteria, protozoa, or parasites and marked by severe diarrhoea, inflammation, and the passage of blood and mucus

Engelska sjukan, rakitis, ris

Rickets. A bone-softening disease: a disease, especially of children, caused by a deficiency in vitamin D that makes the bones become soft and prone to bending and structural change. Technical name rachitis.

Fallandesjuka

Epilepsy, Falling sickness A medical disorder of the brain: a medical disorder involving episodes of abnormal electrical discharge in the brain and characterized by periodic sudden loss or impairment of consciousness, often accompanied by convulsions

Flen, magflen

"Flen" is many different types of stomach diseases (stomach ache) or pain in the chest/thorax.

Fläcktyfus / Fläckfeber

Typhus fever Infectious fever: an infectious disease that causes fever, severe headaches, a rash, and often delirium. It is spread by ticks and fleas carried by rodents.

Franska sjukan, fransosen, syfilis

Syphilis, French pox - venereal disease Sexually transmitted disease: a serious sexually transmitted disease caused by the spirally twisted bacterium that affects many body organs and parts, including the genitals, brain, skin, and nervous tissue. Also called lues.

Frossa

"Frossa" is not a name of a disease but rather a condition  where the diseased "have the shivers" together with a heavy fever. One disease with those symptoms is malaria and "frossa" was sometimes used as a name for malaria.

Fältsjuka

"Fältsjuka" = field disease (military) = camp fever, normally dysentery or typhus fever. This was a group name of diseases that often infected soldiers when large amount of troopers were gathered together. Lack of hygiene and sanitation in those days caused many infectious diseases. The disease spread very quickly if, for example, sewage disposal and human waste came in contact with water supplies. Throughout all wars before the 20th century field diseases have killed more soldiers than the battles. Normally the field disease was typhus fever (fläckfeber) or dysentery (rödsot). In the Navy these types of diseases were called the Navy Disease (marinsjukan) or the Ship Disease/Ship fever (skeppsjukan)??

Förstoppning

Constipation Constipation, infrequent or difficult bowel movements characterized by dry, hardened feces.

Gikt

Gout A disease causing swollen joints: a metabolic disorder mainly affecting men in which excess uric acid is produced and deposited in the joints, causing painful swelling, especially in the toes and feet

Hetsig feber

A condition with fever and an inflammation. This could many diseases, from influenza to pneumonia.

Håll och stygn (sting)

Pleurisy or pneumonia Pleurisy: inflammation of pleura: inflammation of the membrane ( pleura ) surrounding the lungs, usually involving painful breathing, coughing, and the buildup of fluid in the pleural cavity Pneumonia: inflammation of the lung: an inflammation of one or both lungs, usually caused by infection from a bacterium or virus or, less commonly, by a chemical or physical irritant (lung fever)

Kallbrand, benröta

Gangrene Death of tissue: local death and decay of soft tissues of the body as a result of lack of blood to the area. It has various causes, including extreme heat or cold, obstruction of blood vessels by disease or a blood clot, or a neurological disorder.

Kikhosta

Whooping-cough A common name applied to an acute, infectious disease of the respiratory tract. The disease, known medically as pertussis, is characterized in its late stages by a deep cough ending in a peculiar high-pitched whooping sound. Infection is transmitted by direct contact, usually by means of droplets sprayed into the air during coughing spells. Most cases occur in children under five years of age, with children less than one year old being the most seriously affected.

Kolera

Cholera. An acute and often fatal intestinal disease that produces severe diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and gastric pain, and is usually caused by swallowing food or water contaminated with a bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The death rate was in earlier times about 50%. Sweden was hit by cholera several times during the 19th century. One of the most serious epidemics was in 1853.

Kolik, rev, bukrev

Colic, A severe abdominal pain, a symptom of several disorders. When arising in the intestine, it is characterized by spasmodic and irregular contractions of the muscular coat of the intestines. Intestinal colic is often caused by infection, obstruction, irritating food, or purgative medicine. The symptoms of colic are often confused with those of appendicitis and peritonitis.

Kräfta, cancer

Cancer

Lungsot, hekti, bröstilska, bröstsjuka, lungröta, tvinsot, trånsjuka.

TB, tuberculosis. Tubercle-forming disease: an infectious disease that causes small rounded swellings ( tubercles ) to form on mucous membranes, especially a disease pulmonary tuberculosis that affects the lungs.

Malaria, frossa, flussfeber, augustifeber

Malaria. Recurring illness transmitted by mosquitoes: an infectious disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Common in hot countries, the disease is characterized by recurring chills and fever. Also called marsh fever Malaria was common in Sweden in the mid 1700s'. But epidemics have happened as late as the beginning of the 20th century.

Mässlingen

Measles, An acute, highly contagious, fever-producing disease caused by a filterable virus. It is different from the virus that causes the less serious disease German measles, or rubella. Measles is characterized by small red dots appearing on the surface of the skin, irritation of the eyes (especially on exposure to light), coughing, and a runny nose. Measles was formerly one of the most common childhood diseases.

Nervfeber

Typhoid fever See typhoid.

Pest, böldpest, bubonpest

Plague Epidemic disease: a disease that spreads very rapidly, infecting very large numbers of people and killing a great many of them. Sweden had its largest epidemic between 1710 and 1712. Victims of contagious epidemic diseases were isolated in special hospital houses or quarantine houses normally called pest houses. Pleuresi, plöresi, lungsäcks- och lunginflammation, håll och stygn i bröstet. See Pleurisy

Ris

A group name of different childhood diseases often caused by want of proper care, loss of weight due to undernourishment etc. Other Swedish names are älta, ältfrossa, skerva.

Ros, rosfeber, rosvässlan, fisken

Erysipelas, fishhandlers disease A contagious and infectious skin disease, also affecting the subcutaneous tissue, characterized by inflammation of the diseased areas, with accompanying redness and swelling. Erysipelas is sometimes epidemic and is often caused by infection of wounds. Erysipelas is caused by a bacterium, the Group A streptococcus, and first appears as a red patch raised above the normal surface of the skin. The most common starting point of the infection is the face. The redness spreads, with older areas fading as the new areas extend.

Rödsot, dysenteri

Dysentery. A disease of the lower intestine: the disease of the lower intestine caused by infection with bacteria, protozoa, or parasites and marked by severe diarrhea, inflammation, and the passage of blood and mucus. In most cases of "fältsjuka" - field disease (camp fever) it was "rödsot" / dysentery that was the real disease.

Röta

Decay of tissue Pathological changes due to inflammatory disintegration, purulence, gangrene and putrefaction in bodily tissues (necrosis) and fluids.

Rötfeber, brännsjuka

Different epidemic fever diseases. "Röta" as in "rötfeber" means putrefaction. "Feber" = fever. A group name of different epidemic fevers such as typhoid fever or typhus fever or blood poisoning. The name "rötfeber" arose due to blood in a dissolved condition, and the diseases were characterized by victims with sickeningly bad breath.

Scharlakansfeber

Scarlet fever, scarlatina An infectious disease, caused by group A hemolytic streptococci, which also causes strep throat. The organism causing the disease usually enters the body through the nose or mouth. It is transmitted from person to person by direct contact. The disease most commonly affects children between the ages of two and ten. A characteristic skin eruption appears on the chest and usually spreads over the entire body except the face. The rash fades on pressure.

Skärvan

A group name of different stomach diseases, in abdominal region. 

Skörbjugg

Scurvy A disease caused by vitamin deficiency: a disease caused by insufficient vitamin C, the symptoms of which include spongy gums, loosening of the teeth, and bleeding into the skin and mucous membranes. A common disease among seamen. The Vikings did cure the disease with herbs that turned out to contain vitamin C.  

Slag, slaganfall, slagfluss, nervslag och lungslag

Stroke, cerebral hemorrhage or stroke; fit of apoplexy caused by brain hemorrhage.

Smittkoppor

Smallpox. An acute viral disease: a highly contagious disease caused by a poxvirus and marked by high fever and the formation of scar-producing pustules. A worldwide inoculation program has virtually eradicated the smallpox virus from the human population. Vaccination for smallpox became compulsory in Sweden in 1816.

Sockersjuka, diabetes

Diabetes ("sockersjuka" = sugar sickness) A disease caused by defective carbohydrate metabolism and characterized by abnormally large amounts of sugar in the blood and urine.

Spanska sjukan

The Spanish flu An epidemic influenza. The Spanish flu of 1918 is one the most destructive epidemic of modern times. The symptoms was high fever, cough, pain in the eyes and ears, pain in the lumbar region, headache, sore throat, weakness, coating, feeling of sickness, irregular pulse. The disease was an influenza, but a very severe one. This flue is estimated to have caused 20 million deaths; in the U.S. about 500,000 persons died, generally following the complication of bacterial pneumonia. More then 35,000 persons died in Sweden in the Spanish flu between 1918 and 1919. The epidemic was first reported in Spain, that is how the disease got its name.

Torsk

Thrush. A fungal infection characterized by creamy-white, curdlike patches on the tongue and other mucosal surfaces of the mouth. The disease is caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a species of yeast that normally inhabits the mucous membranes as a benign saprophyte. When the curdlike discharge is removed from patches of thrush, raw and bleeding areas are visible and can be especially painful. Also called candida. In some cases herpes simplex could have been diagnosed as  "torsk" and in some rare cases as diphtheria.

Tuberkulos, TBC, Tvinsot, lungsot, tvärsot

TB, tuberculosis. Tubercle-forming disease: a chronic or acute bacterial infection that primarily attacks the lungs, but which may also affect the kidneys, bones, lymph nodes, and brain. The disease is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a rod-shaped bacterium. Symptoms of TB include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, chills, and fatigue. Children and people with weakened immune systems are the most susceptible to TB. Half of all untreated TB cases are fatal.

Tyfoidfeber, nervfeber, paratyfus, tarmtyfus

Typhoid Fever (Typhus abdominalis) An acute infectious disease caused by the typhoid bacillus Salmonella typhi. The bacillus is transmitted by milk, water, or solid food contaminated by feces of typhoid victims or of carriers, that is, healthy persons who harbor typhoid bacilli without presenting symptoms. The first symptoms are chills followed by high fever and prostration. Victims may also experience headache, cough, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Tyfus; fläckfeber, fläcktyfus, återfallsfeber

Typhus Typhus is a common name for a group of three acute infectious diseases of humans caused by rickettsial bodies. These diseases are epidemic louse-borne typhus; Brill-Zinsser disease; and endemic, or murine (flea-borne) typhus. Epidemic louse-borne typhus (typhus exanthematicus) = "fläcktyfus / fläckfeber": Also called European, or classic, typhus, this is the most virulent of the three diseases and has occurred in widespread epidemics during wartime or other periods when sanitation has not been strictly observed. It occurs chiefly in temperate countries and is commonly known as jail fever, famine fever, putrid fever, hospital fever, camp fever, or ship fever. Symptoms appear about ten days after the victim has been bitten by an infected body louse, and they include high fever, pain in the muscles and joints, stiffness, headache, and cerebral disturbance. About the fifth day of the disease, a dark-red rash of elevated spots breaks out on the trunk and shoulders and then spreads to the rest of the body. During the second week of the disease, the patient often becomes delirious. After two to three weeks, patients may undergo a sudden remission of fever with prompt recovery. In severe epidemics, however, the mortality rate is often as high as 50 to 70 percent, with death occurring within two weeks. During World War I, 150,000 soldiers died of epidemic typhus. During World War II protective vaccination and control of lice with DDT resulted in a much lower incidence of typhus among military personnel. Endemic Flea-borne Typhus This form of the disease, also called murine, or tropical, typhus, is relatively mild. Caused by R. typhi, it occurs in tropical and semitropical countries. Endemic typhus is transmitted by the rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis. Rat fleas attack humans secondarily, in that their primary host is the common brown rat. The symptoms of endemic flea-borne typhus are much less severe than those of epidemic typhus. In earlier times there were three types of typhus:  1. Typhoid Fever: Nervfeber, tarmtyfus, tyfoidfeber (see above) 2. Epidemic louse-borne typhus: Fläckfeber, fläcktyfus, krigstyfus, hungertyfus 3. Brill-Zinsser Disease: Återfallsfeber (see below)

Varfeber

See Blood poisoning.  

Vattensot

"Vattensot" is a general term for diseases causing edema, accumulation of excess fluid in any body tissue, cavity, or organ, except bone. There are three types of "vattensot"; "Hudvattensot", "Bröstvattensot" and "Hjärnvattensot". Accumulation in the pleural cavity is called pleural effusion or "Bröstvattensot"; in the cranium, hydrocephalus or "Hjärnvattensot"; and in the abdominal cavity, ascites or "Hudvattensot". Generalized edema is referred to as anasarca. Major causes are heart or kidney failure, low blood serum protein after starvation or liver failure, shock, and impaired return of blood from extremities. 

Vattkoppor

Chickenpox An extremely contagious viral disease, chiefly of children, characterized by early fever, an eruption of papules and vesicles, and mild constitutional disturbances. In most cases, fever is present 24 hours before the eruption appears. The eruption comes out on the face, scalp, or shoulders in crops of red, widely scattered vesicles, spreading slowly over the body, one crop maturing while another is appearing. Chicken pox is rarely a dangerous disease in otherwise healthy children. It can be life threatening, however, in children with a defective immune response due to a disease.

Vattuskräck, rabies

Rabies. Severe viral disease: an often fatal viral disease that affects the central nervous systems of most warm-blooded animals and is transmitted in the saliva of an infected animal. It causes convulsions, inability to move, and strange behavior.  

Ålderdomsbräcklighet/Ålderdomssvaghet

Infirmities of old age

Återfallsfeber

Brill-Zinsser Disease (typhus recurrens) Also called recrudescent typhus, this is another form of typhus caused by R. prowazeki. Victims of epidemic typhus who have recovered may harbor the rickettsia in their bodies, especially in the lymph nodes. Several years later they may experience a type of relapse. Lice may feed on the bodies of these recovered victims and then infect other people; the disease may also be transmitted without the presence of lice, as by physical contact. Brill-Zinsser disease is milder than the initial epidemic typhus.

Source References

1. Swedish National Encyclopaedia 2. Wikipedia  Top of page
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History Hans Högman
Copyright © Hans Högman 2017-04-18

Names of Diseases in

Earlier Times, Sweden

Introduction

Reading old letters, church records etc. you might come across old names of diseases. It might be interesting then to know what type of disease is mentioned. Since many of the old names of diseases are not used today and since many of these names weren’t name of specific diseases but rather descriptions of diseases it is difficult to translate them to names of diseases used today. So, it is difficult to describe a Swedish name of an old disease into modern Swedish if the disease doesn't have a corresponding name today. And of course, it is then even more difficult to translate the diseases to English. Swedish names of diseases in earlier times often ended with "sot" or "röta". For example, rödsot, bleksot, rötfeber and lungröta.  However, the different diseases ending in ”-sot” or "- röta"  were not necessarily the same type of disease. "Sot" can be translated to "sickness". The names of diseases in former days were more a description of the diseases’ symptoms rather than defined names of specific diseases. So, a name of a disease in those days could in fact be two or three different diseases according to modern medicine. There are of course different diseases with similar types of symptoms. It was also a custom to name the diseases according to where on the body the symptoms appeared. For example, bröstilska and brösttäppa (bröst = chest). Also, these types of names of diseases could be the same disease or different ones. The knowledge in medicine wasn’t very developed in earlier times so the diagnoses was not very accurate of course. To make things even more complicated; names of diseases could be different in different parts of Sweden. From 1749 the reverends/parish ministers were obliged to note the cause of death in the church records/parish records.

Swedish/English Dictionary

Andtäppa, andnöd

Shortness of breath

Astma

Asthma; A respiratory disease in which spasm and constriction of the bronchial passages and swelling of their mucous lining cause obstruction of breathing, often due to allergy, particularly to dust, animal fur or feathers, molds, and pollen.

Barnkoppor, smittkoppor

"Barnkoppor" = child smallpox. The majority of the persons that got smallpox were children. That is why the disease was also called "barnkoppor". See Smallpox

Barnasjukan, Engelska sjukan

"Engelska sjukan" (The English disease) = Rickets. Barnasjukan = children's disease Classic rickets, a deficiency disease of children characterized by improper development or hardening of bones, is due to lack of sufficient vitamin D in the diet, or to insufficient ultraviolet radiation from direct sunlight, a lack that prevents conversion of the element 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin to vitamin D. The type of skeletal deformities depends largely on the child's age when the vitamin-D deficiency occurs. A child who has not yet learned to walk develops vertebral curvatures; a walking child develops leg curvatures. The British physician Francis Glisson did a very detailed description of the disease. That is way the disease also is called the English disease in some countries. See Rickets.

Barnsängsfeber

Childbed fever

Bleksot, blodbrist, järnblodbrist, vitsot,

kloros

Blek = pale, blod = blood, brist = lack of, vit = white "Blodbrist" = anemia/anaemia The most common type of anemia is iron-deficiency anemia, which occurs when the body's need for iron increases, as during certain periods of childhood and in pregnancy, or when there is insufficient iron in the diet. Common among teenage girls. Also called green sickness.

Blesserad

Wounded (in war)

Blodförgiftning

Blood-poisoning (septicemia) Infection of the blood, generally caused either by the presence in the blood of microorganisms or of toxins produced by body cells.  

Blodkoppor, svartkoppor

Blod = blood, svart = black, koppor = pustules or pox (as in smallpox) A disease with severe bleeding pustules.

Brottfälling, brottfall, fallandesjuka,

epilepsi

Epilepsy. See "Fallandesjuka" below.

Brännkoppor, vattkoppor

Chickenpox An extremely contagious viral disease, chiefly of children, characterized by early fever, an eruption of papules and vesicles, and mild constitutional disturbances. In most cases, fever is present 24 hours before the eruption appears. The eruption comes out on the face, scalp, or shoulders in crops of red, widely scattered vesicles, spreading slowly over the body, one crop maturing while another is appearing.

Bröstfeber

Pleurisy, pneumonia See "Håll och stygn" below.

Brösthäfta, bröstklämma, bröstkov

Shortness of breath

Bröstskärv, engelska sjukan

Rickets, See "Engelska sjukan" above

Brösttäppa

Shortness of breath

Bröstvärk, fluss

A bronchial type of disease, no fever but coughing and hoarseness. If the diseased got a fever the disease would be "feberfluss" or "bröstfeber".

Difteri, halssjuka

Diphtheria. A serious infectious disease, affecting children particularly, caused by a bacterium that attacks the membranes of the throat and releases a toxin that damages the heart and the nervous system. The main symptoms are fever, weakness, and severe inflammation of the affected membranes. The first case in Sweden was discovered around 1750.

Digerdöden, pesten, svarta pesten

The Black Death, plague. A 14th century plague epidemic: the bubonic plague epidemic that killed over 50 million people throughout Asia and Europe in the 14th century. Black probably from the color of the buboes.

Dragsjuka, krampsjuka

Kramp = cramp, spasm A disease with cramp and spasm. When the diseased get the bouts he will be delirious and wild with rage. Common symptoms are also diarrhea and speckles on the skin. The disease is caused by a mould parasite, in Swedish called "mjöldryga" (ergot). The parasite is common on corn/grain and the fungus are causing a disease with toxic symptoms.

Dröppel / Gonorré

Gonorrhea (US) / gonorrhoea (UK); venereal or genital disease: a sexually transmitted disease that causes inflammation of the genital mucous membrane, burning pain when urinating, and a discharge.

Dysenteri

Dysentery A disease of the lower intestine: the disease of the lower intestine caused by infection with bacteria, protozoa, or parasites and marked by severe diarrhoea, inflammation, and the passage of blood and mucus

Engelska sjukan, rakitis, ris

Rickets. A bone-softening disease: a disease, especially of children, caused by a deficiency in vitamin D that makes the bones become soft and prone to bending and structural change. Technical name rachitis.

Fallandesjuka

Epilepsy, Falling sickness A medical disorder of the brain: a medical disorder involving episodes of abnormal electrical discharge in the brain and characterized by periodic sudden loss or impairment of consciousness, often accompanied by convulsions

Flen, magflen

"Flen" is many different types of stomach diseases (stomach ache) or pain in the chest/thorax.

Fläcktyfus / Fläckfeber

Typhus fever Infectious fever: an infectious disease that causes fever, severe headaches, a rash, and often delirium. It is spread by ticks and fleas carried by rodents.

Franska sjukan, fransosen, syfilis

Syphilis, French pox - venereal disease Sexually transmitted disease: a serious sexually transmitted disease caused by the spirally twisted bacterium that affects many body organs and parts, including the genitals, brain, skin, and nervous tissue. Also called lues.

Frossa

"Frossa" is not a name of a disease but rather a condition  where the diseased "have the shivers" together with a heavy fever. One disease with those symptoms is malaria and "frossa" was sometimes used as a name for malaria.

Fältsjuka

"Fältsjuka" = field disease (military) = camp fever, normally dysentery or typhus fever. This was a group name of diseases that often infected soldiers when large amount of troopers were gathered together. Lack of hygiene and sanitation in those days caused many infectious diseases. The disease spread very quickly if, for example, sewage disposal and human waste came in contact with water supplies. Throughout all wars before the 20th century field diseases have killed more soldiers than the battles. Normally the field disease was typhus fever (fläckfeber) or dysentery (rödsot). In the Navy these types of diseases were called the Navy Disease (marinsjukan) or the Ship Disease/Ship fever (skeppsjukan)??

Förstoppning

Constipation Constipation, infrequent or difficult bowel movements characterized by dry, hardened feces.

Gikt

Gout A disease causing swollen joints: a metabolic disorder mainly affecting men in which excess uric acid is produced and deposited in the joints, causing painful swelling, especially in the toes and feet

Hetsig feber

A condition with fever and an inflammation. This could many diseases, from influenza to pneumonia.

Håll och stygn (sting)

Pleurisy or pneumonia Pleurisy: inflammation of pleura: inflammation of the membrane ( pleura ) surrounding the lungs, usually involving painful breathing, coughing, and the buildup of fluid in the pleural cavity Pneumonia: inflammation of the lung: an inflammation of one or both lungs, usually caused by infection from a bacterium or virus or, less commonly, by a chemical or physical irritant (lung fever)

Kallbrand, benröta

Gangrene Death of tissue: local death and decay of soft tissues of the body as a result of lack of blood to the area. It has various causes, including extreme heat or cold, obstruction of blood vessels by disease or a blood clot, or a neurological disorder.

Kikhosta

Whooping-cough A common name applied to an acute, infectious disease of the respiratory tract. The disease, known medically as pertussis, is characterized in its late stages by a deep cough ending in a peculiar high- pitched whooping sound. Infection is transmitted by direct contact, usually by means of droplets sprayed into the air during coughing spells. Most cases occur in children under five years of age, with children less than one year old being the most seriously affected.

Kolera

Cholera. An acute and often fatal intestinal disease that produces severe diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and gastric pain, and is usually caused by swallowing food or water contaminated with a bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The death rate was in earlier times about 50%. Sweden was hit by cholera several times during the 19th century. One of the most serious epidemics was in 1853.

Kolik, rev, bukrev

Colic, A severe abdominal pain, a symptom of several disorders. When arising in the intestine, it is characterized by spasmodic and irregular contractions of the muscular coat of the intestines. Intestinal colic is often caused by infection, obstruction, irritating food, or purgative medicine. The symptoms of colic are often confused with those of appendicitis and peritonitis.

Kräfta, cancer

Cancer

Lungsot, hekti, bröstilska, bröstsjuka,

lungröta, tvinsot, trånsjuka.

TB, tuberculosis. Tubercle-forming disease: an infectious disease that causes small rounded swellings ( tubercles ) to form on mucous membranes, especially a disease pulmonary tuberculosis that affects the lungs.

Malaria, frossa, flussfeber, augustifeber

Malaria. Recurring illness transmitted by mosquitoes: an infectious disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Common in hot countries, the disease is characterized by recurring chills and fever. Also called marsh fever Malaria was common in Sweden in the mid 1700s'. But epidemics have happened as late as the beginning of the 20th century.

Mässlingen

Measles, An acute, highly contagious, fever-producing disease caused by a filterable virus. It is different from the virus that causes the less serious disease German measles, or rubella. Measles is characterized by small red dots appearing on the surface of the skin, irritation of the eyes (especially on exposure to light), coughing, and a runny nose. Measles was formerly one of the most common childhood diseases.

Nervfeber

Typhoid fever See typhoid.

Pest, böldpest, bubonpest

Plague Epidemic disease: a disease that spreads very rapidly, infecting very large numbers of people and killing a great many of them. Sweden had its largest epidemic between 1710 and 1712. Victims of contagious epidemic diseases were isolated in special hospital houses or quarantine houses normally called pest houses. Pleuresi, plöresi, lungsäcks- och lunginflammation, håll och stygn i bröstet. See Pleurisy

Ris

A group name of different childhood diseases often caused by want of proper care, loss of weight due to undernourishment etc. Other Swedish names are älta, ältfrossa, skerva.

Ros, rosfeber, rosvässlan, fisken

Erysipelas, fishhandlers disease A contagious and infectious skin disease, also affecting the subcutaneous tissue, characterized by inflammation of the diseased areas, with accompanying redness and swelling. Erysipelas is sometimes epidemic and is often caused by infection of wounds. Erysipelas is caused by a bacterium, the Group A streptococcus, and first appears as a red patch raised above the normal surface of the skin. The most common starting point of the infection is the face. The redness spreads, with older areas fading as the new areas extend.

Rödsot, dysenteri

Dysentery. A disease of the lower intestine: the disease of the lower intestine caused by infection with bacteria, protozoa, or parasites and marked by severe diarrhea, inflammation, and the passage of blood and mucus. In most cases of "fältsjuka" - field disease (camp fever) it was "rödsot" / dysentery that was the real disease.

Röta

Decay of tissue Pathological changes due to inflammatory disintegration, purulence, gangrene and putrefaction in bodily tissues (necrosis) and fluids.

Rötfeber, brännsjuka

Different epidemic fever diseases. "Röta" as in "rötfeber" means putrefaction. "Feber" = fever. A group name of different epidemic fevers such as typhoid fever or typhus fever or blood poisoning. The name "rötfeber" arose due to blood in a dissolved condition, and the diseases were characterized by victims with sickeningly bad breath.

Scharlakansfeber

Scarlet fever, scarlatina An infectious disease, caused by group A hemolytic streptococci, which also causes strep throat. The organism causing the disease usually enters the body through the nose or mouth. It is transmitted from person to person by direct contact. The disease most commonly affects children between the ages of two and ten. A characteristic skin eruption appears on the chest and usually spreads over the entire body except the face. The rash fades on pressure.

Skärvan

A group name of different stomach diseases, in abdominal region. 

Skörbjugg

Scurvy A disease caused by vitamin deficiency: a disease caused by insufficient vitamin C, the symptoms of which include spongy gums, loosening of the teeth, and bleeding into the skin and mucous membranes. A common disease among seamen. The Vikings did cure the disease with herbs that turned out to contain vitamin C.  

Slag, slaganfall, slagfluss, nervslag och

lungslag

Stroke, cerebral hemorrhage or stroke; fit of apoplexy caused by brain hemorrhage.

Smittkoppor

Smallpox. An acute viral disease: a highly contagious disease caused by a poxvirus and marked by high fever and the formation of scar-producing pustules. A worldwide inoculation program has virtually eradicated the smallpox virus from the human population. Vaccination for smallpox became compulsory in Sweden in 1816.

Sockersjuka, diabetes

Diabetes ("sockersjuka" = sugar sickness) A disease caused by defective carbohydrate metabolism and characterized by abnormally large amounts of sugar in the blood and urine.

Spanska sjukan

The Spanish flu An epidemic influenza. The Spanish flu of 1918 is one the most destructive epidemic of modern times. The symptoms was high fever, cough, pain in the eyes and ears, pain in the lumbar region, headache, sore throat, weakness, coating, feeling of sickness, irregular pulse. The disease was an influenza, but a very severe one. This flue is estimated to have caused 20 million deaths; in the U.S. about 500,000 persons died, generally following the complication of bacterial pneumonia. More then 35,000 persons died in Sweden in the Spanish flu between 1918 and 1919. The epidemic was first reported in Spain, that is how the disease got its name.

Torsk

Thrush. A fungal infection characterized by creamy-white, curdlike patches on the tongue and other mucosal surfaces of the mouth. The disease is caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans, a species of yeast that normally inhabits the mucous membranes as a benign saprophyte. When the curdlike discharge is removed from patches of thrush, raw and bleeding areas are visible and can be especially painful. Also called candida. In some cases herpes simplex could have been diagnosed as  "torsk" and in some rare cases as diphtheria.

Tuberkulos, TBC, Tvinsot, lungsot, tvärsot

TB, tuberculosis. Tubercle-forming disease: a chronic or acute bacterial infection that primarily attacks the lungs, but which may also affect the kidneys, bones, lymph nodes, and brain. The disease is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a rod-shaped bacterium. Symptoms of TB include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, chills, and fatigue. Children and people with weakened immune systems are the most susceptible to TB. Half of all untreated TB cases are fatal.

Tyfoidfeber, nervfeber, paratyfus,

tarmtyfus

Typhoid Fever (Typhus abdominalis) An acute infectious disease caused by the typhoid bacillus Salmonella typhi. The bacillus is transmitted by milk, water, or solid food contaminated by feces of typhoid victims or of carriers, that is, healthy persons who harbor typhoid bacilli without presenting symptoms. The first symptoms are chills followed by high fever and prostration. Victims may also experience headache, cough, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Tyfus; fläckfeber, fläcktyfus, återfallsfeber

Typhus Typhus is a common name for a group of three acute infectious diseases of humans caused by rickettsial bodies. These diseases are epidemic louse-borne typhus; Brill-Zinsser disease; and endemic, or murine (flea-borne) typhus. Epidemic louse-borne typhus (typhus exanthematicus) = "fläcktyfus / fläckfeber": Also called European, or classic, typhus, this is the most virulent of the three diseases and has occurred in widespread epidemics during wartime or other periods when sanitation has not been strictly observed. It occurs chiefly in temperate countries and is commonly known as jail fever, famine fever, putrid fever, hospital fever, camp fever, or ship fever. Symptoms appear about ten days after the victim has been bitten by an infected body louse, and they include high fever, pain in the muscles and joints, stiffness, headache, and cerebral disturbance. About the fifth day of the disease, a dark-red rash of elevated spots breaks out on the trunk and shoulders and then spreads to the rest of the body. During the second week of the disease, the patient often becomes delirious. After two to three weeks, patients may undergo a sudden remission of fever with prompt recovery. In severe epidemics, however, the mortality rate is often as high as 50 to 70 percent, with death occurring within two weeks. During World War I, 150,000 soldiers died of epidemic typhus. During World War II protective vaccination and control of lice with DDT resulted in a much lower incidence of typhus among military personnel. Endemic Flea-borne Typhus This form of the disease, also called murine, or tropical, typhus, is relatively mild. Caused by R. typhi, it occurs in tropical and semitropical countries. Endemic typhus is transmitted by the rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis. Rat fleas attack humans secondarily, in that their primary host is the common brown rat. The symptoms of endemic flea- borne typhus are much less severe than those of epidemic typhus. In earlier times there were three types of typhus:  1. Typhoid Fever: Nervfeber, tarmtyfus, tyfoidfeber (see above) 2. Epidemic louse-borne typhus: Fläckfeber, fläcktyfus, krigstyfus, hungertyfus 3. Brill-Zinsser Disease: Återfallsfeber (see below)

Varfeber

See Blood poisoning.  

Vattensot

"Vattensot" is a general term for diseases causing edema, accumulation of excess fluid in any body tissue, cavity, or organ, except bone. There are three types of "vattensot"; "Hudvattensot", "Bröstvattensot" and "Hjärnvattensot". Accumulation in the pleural cavity is called pleural effusion or "Bröstvattensot"; in the cranium, hydrocephalus or "Hjärnvattensot"; and in the abdominal cavity, ascites or "Hudvattensot". Generalized edema is referred to as anasarca. Major causes are heart or kidney failure, low blood serum protein after starvation or liver failure, shock, and impaired return of blood from extremities. 

Vattkoppor

Chickenpox An extremely contagious viral disease, chiefly of children, characterized by early fever, an eruption of papules and vesicles, and mild constitutional disturbances. In most cases, fever is present 24 hours before the eruption appears. The eruption comes out on the face, scalp, or shoulders in crops of red, widely scattered vesicles, spreading slowly over the body, one crop maturing while another is appearing. Chicken pox is rarely a dangerous disease in otherwise healthy children. It can be life threatening, however, in children with a defective immune response due to a disease.

Vattuskräck, rabies

Rabies. Severe viral disease: an often fatal viral disease that affects the central nervous systems of most warm- blooded animals and is transmitted in the saliva of an infected animal. It causes convulsions, inability to move, and strange behavior.  

Ålderdomsbräcklighet/Ålderdomssvaghet

Infirmities of old age

Återfallsfeber

Brill-Zinsser Disease (typhus recurrens) Also called recrudescent typhus, this is another form of typhus caused by R. prowazeki. Victims of epidemic typhus who have recovered may harbor the rickettsia in their bodies, especially in the lymph nodes. Several years later they may experience a type of relapse. Lice may feed on the bodies of these recovered victims and then infect other people; the disease may also be transmitted without the presence of lice, as by physical contact. Brill-Zinsser disease is milder than the initial epidemic typhus.

Source References

1. Swedish National Encyclopaedia 2. Wikipedia  Top of page