I am sick
1. How to recognize and respond to a disease – Instructor

  • Diseases can be dectected thanks to a certain number of signs that affect various parts of the body : we call them the symptoms of the disease.
  • Some symptoms are clearly visible (spots, a cough, swelling ...), others are pain or discomfort felt by the sick person (tiredness, heat, chills, stomach or headaches, ...)
  • It is very important to watch out for the first symptoms of a disease to be able to respond to it as soon as possible.


  • A warm feeling particulary in the head (forehead and temples)
  • Feeling hot and cold alternately
  • Chills and body aches
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Intestinal transit disorders


  • No appetite
  • Stomach pains
  • Discomfort after eating
  • Acid reflux in the mouth


  • Pain and sensation of weight in the stomach
  • Difficulty to go to the toilet
  • A swollen and hard abdomen


  • Stomach pains
  • Frequent loose or lilquid stools


  • Persistent cough
  • Dry and sore throat and mouth
  • The voice changes and becomes hoarse and « broken »


  • Feeling of congestion in the throat and in the chest
  • Need to spit
  • Difficulty to breathe
  • Wheezing sound when breathing
  • A noise in the lungs indicating a congestion of the lungs

Each disease has specific symptoms

Each disease has its own specific symptoms but one symptom may be common to several diseases.

Fever for example is a symptom in various diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, tuberculosis and many others.

But if the fever comes with a cough and spitting out blood, the medical staff will turn to a more specific disease group among which tuberculosis.

Further information

Each symptom is linked to a part or a system of the human body, for example :

  • Palpitations (hearing a fast heartbeat, having difficulty breathing and a feeling of suffocation ...) occur in the the heart and the blood vessels.
  • Cough is related to the respiratory system,
  • Nausea, vomiting and disorders of the transit are problems related to the digestive system.

There are three stages in the course of a disease during which the symptoms evolve :

  • The outbreak of the disease comes with a certain number of signs. It is the right time to decide to go to the health centre to respond as fast as possible to the disease.
  • Period of illness : all the symptoms are generally present and active but the certain can disappear once the disease is declared and others may appear.
  • The step towards recovery : the symptoms disappear with the treatment, sometimes slowly, untill total recovery. The first signs of improvement and recovery musn’t lead one to stop the treatment, on the contrary it is crucial to respect the length of the treatment prescribed by the medical staff.


Knowledge Test

The various symptoms.

Children describe in their own words what they feel and where it hurts.

Complete the sentences with the right symptom.

? Correction

Des enfants décrivent avec leurs mots ce qu’ils ressentent, où ils ont mal. A toi de replacer les bons mots sur ces symptômes.

  • My head feels hot, my body aches and I am very tired …
    I have a FEVER
  • I have a pain in my stomach, I can’t go to the toilet and I have hard stools …
    I suffer from CONSTIPATION
  • I have no appetite, I feel bad after eating, I feel like vomiting …
    I have NAUSEA
  • I have a barking cough, I need to spit out and I have a sore throat …
    I have a WET COUGH
  • I have a pain in my stomach, I go to the toilet more often than usual and I have liquid stools …
    I have DIARRHEA



Posted in Instructor, Instructor I am sick.