Swedish word of the day: vinterkräksjuka

Swedish word of the day: vinterkräksjuka
Image: nito103/Depositphotos
Here's a word that no one wants to hear, but you're unlikely to get through winter in Sweden without hearing it.

Vinterkräksjuka is usually translated in English as 'winter vomiting virus' or 'norovirus' and the Swedish word can be broken down into the words vinter (winter), kräk (from kräkas meaning 'to vomit' – note that kräk used on its own is an insult meaning something like 'creep' or 'wretch'), and sjuka (illness).

It's caused by the Caliciviridae group of viruses, and symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea typically emerge shortly after infection. It's not a pleasant experience, and thousands are affected each year. Many Swedish families will have their own horror stories of the whole household being infected with the bug.

The best way to try to ward off the illness is to keep good hand hygiene by washing hands with soap and water regularly, and if you experience the symptoms, stay hydrated and get rest.

FOR MEMBERS: How the Swedish healthcare system works

How someone affected by the bug might feel via GIPHY

So why have we chosen this word for today?

Well, the virus is most common between the months of December and April, and Sweden's Public Health Agency has said the 2018/2019 season for the bug has started, based on searches for vinterkräksjukan on their website and analysis of voluntary reports to microbiological laboratories across the country.


Så kallad vinterkräksjuka orsakas av calicivirus

The so-called winter vomiting bug is caused by calcivirus

Hur kan jag skydda mig mot vinterkräksjukan?

How can I protect myself from the winter vomiting bug?

Do you have a favourite Swedish word you would like to nominate for our word of the day series? Get in touch by email or if you are a Member of The Local, log in to comment below.

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