How to Say Virus in Chinese – LTL’s Guide to Talking About Your Health

All the Essential Vocabulary for talking about Viruses in Chinese

If you’ve wanted to know “How to say virus in Chinese” or to be able to talk about other health related problems then we’re here to help.

Being able to talk about your health and symptoms is definitely an important if you’re living in China.

Whether it’s just a small problem like asking for medicine for a headache or something a bit more serious it’s good to know how to describe your symptoms and also know some of the more technical language.

Virus in Chinese – Going to a Doctor/Pharmacy

Virus in Chinese – Symptoms

Virus in Chinese – Technical Vocabulary

Virus in Chinese – Types of Illness

Virus in Chinese – Keeping Hygenic

Virus in Chinese – Living in China during the Coronavirus

Max’s Story

Evelyn’s Story

Tobias and Mikkel’s Story

Hannah’s Story

Virus in Chinese – Going to a Doctor or pharmacy

First of all, here is some basic vocabulary to get you started:

  • Hospital 医院 yīyuàn
  • Doctor 医生 yīshēng
  • Nurse 护士 hùshì
  • Pharmacy 药店 yàodiàn
  • Pharmacist 药剂师 yàojì shī
  • Medicine 药 yào
Virus in Chinese - Doctor

Along with these here are some key basic phrases:

Please take me to the hospital. 请带我去医院。Qǐng dài wǒ qù yīyuàn.

How can I get to the hospital by bus? 去医院要坐哪一路公交?Qù yīyuàn yào zuò nǎ yīlù gōngjiāo?

Where is the nearest hospital? 最近的医院在哪里? zuìjìn de yīyuàn zài nǎlǐ

I need to see a doctor 我需要看医生 wŏ xūyào kān yīshēng

You should go and see a doctor. 你应该去看医生。Nǐ yīnggāi qù kàn yīshēng.

Where can I buy some medicine? 我到哪里可以买些药? Wǒ dào nǎlǐ kěyǐ mǎi xiē yào?

Virus in Chinese - Pharmacy

These are available from a pharmacist. 这些可从一药剂师得到。 Zhèxiē kě cóng yī yàojì shī dédào.

Have you taken any medicine? 你吃过药了吗?Nǐ chī yàole ma?

How much of the medicine do I take each time? 这药我每次吃多少?Zhè yào wǒ měi cì chī duōshǎo?

Virus in Chinese – Symptoms

Now, if you do go to the hospital or pharmacy it’s important to actually be able to communicate how it is you’re feeling.

You definitely don’t want to end up being given the wrong medicine!

Below, we’ve put together some vocabulary and phrases for some common symptoms.

Symptom is 症状 zhèngzhuàng

What symptoms do you have? 你有什么症状? Nǐ yǒu shénme zhèngzhuàng?
  • Unwell/Uncomfortable 不舒服 bù shūfu
    • I’m not feeling well 我身体不舒服 Wǒ shēntǐ bú shūfú
    • What is bothering you/Where does it hurt? 你哪里不舒服? Nǐ nǎlǐ bú shūfú?

Ill is 生病 shēngbìng

I’m ill, I can’t go to work. 我生病了,不能去上班了 Wǒ shēngbìngle, bùnéng qù shàngbānle
  • Fever 发烧 fā shāo zhuangzheng
    • I have a little bit of a fever 我有一点发烧了 Wǒ yǒu yīdiǎn fāshāole

Headache is 头疼 tóuténg

I have a headache 我有点儿头疼 Wǒ yóu diǎnr tóuténg
How to say Virus in Chinese - Headache
  • Stomachache 胃疼 wèi téng
    • Yesterday I had a bad stomach ache 昨天我胃疼 Zuótiān wǒ wèi téng

Sore throat is 嗓子疼 săngzi téng

Today my throat hurts 我今天嗓子疼 wǒ jīntiān sǎngzi téng

You’ll see a pattern here of using the word 疼 téng which means to ache or have pain.

In some parts of China, more commonly the south and Taiwan, they will use the word 痛 tòng instead so that’s one thing to watch out for.

Sneeze 喷嚏 pēntì
I’ve been sneezing all day. 我打了一整天喷嚏。Wǒ dǎle yī zhěng tiān pēntì.

Runny nose 流鼻涕 liú bítì
I’ve caught a cold. I have a headache, my nose is running. 我感冒了,头疼,流鼻涕。wǒ gǎnmào le,tóuténg,liú bítì

Dizzy 头晕 tóu yūn
I feel dizzy, I must sit down. 我觉得头晕,得坐下来 wǒ juédé tóuyūn, dé zuò xiàlái

Cough 咳嗽 ké sòu
Ask the doctor to prescribe something for that cough. 请医生开点咳嗽药 Qǐng yīshēng kāi diǎn késòu yào

Nausea 恶心 ěxīn
I don’t want to eat anything, I feel a bit nauseous. 我什么也不想吃,我有点儿恶心。Wǒ shénme yě bùxiǎng chī, wǒ yǒudiǎn er ěxīn.

Being Sick in Chinese

Vomit 呕吐 ǒu tù
The symptoms of this disease are fever and sickness.这种病的症状是发烧与呕吐。Zhè zhǒng bìng de zhèngzhuàng shì fāshāo yǔ ǒutù.

Diarrhea 拉肚子 lā dùzi
We’re both vomiting and have diarrhea. We definitely got food poisoning.我们俩都呕吐,拉肚子。肯定是食物中毒了。wǒmen liǎ dōu ǒutù,lā dùzi。kěndìng shì shíwù zhòngdú le。

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23 Alternate (and Amazing) Ways to Say Thank You in Chinese

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Virus in Chinese – Technical Vocab

Along with the basic vocabulary you might also want to know a few more technical words.

Here are some of the most helpful to know when going to a pharmacy or hospital:

EnglishHanziPinyin
Antibiotics抗生素kàngshēngsù
Cough syrup止咳糖浆zhǐké tángjiāng
Temperature体温tǐwēn
Thermometer体温计tǐwēnjì
Needlezhēn
Give an injection打针dǎzhēn
Vaccine疫苗yìmiáo
Medical Check-up检查身体jiǎnchá shēntǐ
Blood test验血yànxuè
Virus in Mandarin - Thermometer

Have a look below for some example sentences of how some of these words are used:

I’ll give you some cough medicine and some antibiotic pills. 我给开点咳嗽药和一些抗生素药丸。Wǒ gěi kāi diǎn késòu yào hé yīxiē kàngshēngsù yàowán.

Here’s a thermometer. First, we’ll take your temperature. 给你体温计,先量一下体温。gěi nǐ tǐwēnjì,xiān liáng yīxià tǐwēn.

This vaccine will give you immunity for two years. 接种这种疫苗可有两年免疫力。Jiēzhǒng zhè zhǒng yìmiáo kě yǒu liǎng nián miǎnyì lì.

You should go get a physical examination from a doctor. 您应该让医生给您检查身体。Nín yīnggāi ràng yīshēng gěi nín jiǎnchá shēntǐ.

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Virus in Chinese – Types of Illness

Of course, it’s all well and good being able to describe your symptoms in Chinese but you’ll also need to know what illness you might actually have.

We’ve translated some of the most common illnesses for you. We’re sure that the only one you’ll actually need to use is I have a cold!

  • Virus 病毒 bìngdú
  • Coronavirus 冠状病毒 Guānzhuàng bìngdú
  • Flu 流感 liúgǎn
  • Cold 感冒 gǎnmào
  • Pneumonia 肺炎 fèiyán
  • Infection 感染 gǎnrǎn
  • Chest infection 胸部感染 Xiōngbù gǎnrǎn
  • Allergy 过敏 guòmǐn
  • Asthma 哮喘 xiàochuǎn
  • Food poisoning 食物中毒 shíwù zhòngdú
Coronavirus in Chinese

Virus in Chinese – Keeping Hygienic

When there is the danger of a virus about, it’s of course vital to try to be as hygienic as possible.

Here is some useful vocab that should help keep you safe!

EnglishHanziPinyin
Hygiene卫生wèishēng
Face Mask口罩kǒuzhào
Wear Mask戴口罩dài kǒuzhào
Soap肥皂féizào
Liquid hand soap洗手液xǐshǒu yè
Wash hands洗手xǐshǒu
Tissue纸巾zhǐjīn
Virus in Chinese - Face Mask

Of course sickness isn’t the only reason to wear a mask in China. Have a look at our blog about Beijing Pollution to see another reason it’s a good idea…

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Living in China during the Coronavirus

The Coronavirus in China during 2020 no doubt proved to be an odd time for our staff and students alike.

The timing even more-so given the fact the outbreak really started to kick on just before the mass migration of Chinese New Year.

If anything, the timing was apt (for use of a better word).

With everyone back in their hometowns with families, super cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen were at that odd time of year, in which they resembled ghost towns anyway.

Therefore, you’d be forgiven thinking it was business as normal… but this was to prove different.

It’s not often you can “plank” on the Shanghai Metro… step forward Chinese New Year/Coronavirus 2020

Whereas the usual week-long quiet period was the norm in these big cities, this was to be extended, with the government making sure long journeys back to these super-cities were to be avoided to stop any potential spread of the Coronavirus.

Firstly the holiday was extended by 2 days to February 3rd 2020, and then a further week, and even longer in some cases.

Add to the fact a large percentage of shops, restaurants, and transport closed down… and the Coronavirus of 2020 was a truly bizarre time to be in China.

Here are some real life accounts from China during the Coronavirus of 2020.

Firstly with our Marketing Director Max, who is based in Beijing, and then our student from Shanghai, Evelyn, who is creating a Vlog of her time in China.

We finish with two more vloggers, Tobias and Mikkel who also have their own YouTube Channel (Challenge Yourself) in which they partnered with us for 90 days.

They show us their account in Shanghai also during the Coronavirus.

Coronavirus in China – Max’s Story

As foreigners in China who work through Chinese New Year, we are always fully prepared for a number of positive and negative factors:

  • You will get a seat on any Beijing Metro line you wish, at any time
  • Restaurants and bars will be closed, especially if they are locally owned
  • The city will resemble a ghost town

These are a given, we know that.

What we didn’t know was that this was to extend for longer than the usual week. Beijing’s ghost town status was to last not far off one whole month.

With a large number of “Beijingers” not actually having family in the city most of them go home for China’s biggest celebration of the year, but they never expected the extended holiday that was to ensue.

This was the scene, all over Beijing, for around a month in early 2020

Being in Beijing during this time became more bizarre by the day, with the seriousness and spread of the Coronavirus developing mainly throughout Hubei province.

Although it must be said, I never for one minute felt unsafe in Beijing (there was no one around me to catch anything off in the first place).

The standard day-to-day practices still applied, but just to a greater level.

  • Wash your hands
  • Don’t touch things you don’t need to
  • Don’t touch your face.

All common sense stuff.

The number of masks on the street increased to a level where it was more of a surprise to catch someone without a mask.

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China has proved incredibly reactive to events on a day to day basis.

Temperature checks were starting to become a norm on the subway, and then even when leaving your housing complex, or entering any shop still open. They were taking no risks.

Transport was becoming more and more sparse.

Some housing communities even had to deal with quarantines, in which only one member of a household was allowed to leave at a given time, to get water and groceries. Crazy, but anything to stop the spread.

Unfortunately, according to government advise, we had to shut down our Beijing school (the same applied in Shanghai, although it was business as usual in Taipei).

This was a measure we were fully co-operative with. In the cold light of day, the safety of our staff and students is utterly paramount.

Classes had to be moved to online, in which our students were incredibly co-operative.

See two of our students enjoying their online class with us here.

Our staff also scattered across the world leaving our Beijing team one day altogether in our Beijing office, and the next in the likes of Singapore, Italy, France, Hong Kong and the UK.

It was genuinely a crazy few weeks in which all of us involved, will never forget.

Coronavirus in China – Evelyn’s Story

Evelyn is one of our students in Shanghai.

She and her sister, Hannah, came to China to study Chinese for 6 months, firstly in Shanghai, then in Chengde.

Evelyn, upon coming to China, decided to portray a lovely Vlog in which her family and friends could keep up with her journey in China and we also love tuning in!

Here is her real life story on living through the Coronavirus in China. Enjoy and don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Coronavirus in China – Tobias and Mikkel’s Story

Tobias and Mikkel were studying at LTL Shanghai the same time Evelyn was.

Similarly, they also produce a vlog, but on a daily basis.

There are a number of videos in which you can follow them showing a rather derelict Shanghai.

Here is one from January 23rd 2020, when the number of Coronavirus cases started to increase rather significantly and Chinese New Year was about to begin.

Coronavirus in China – Hannah’s Story

Recently, my sister and I traveled to Japan.

Traveling during the coronavirus outbreak means that extra measures were taken at the airport, on the plane, and upon landing to ensure everyone’s health and safety.

First of all, we flew out of the Pudong International Airport, which was really strangely empty.

There was literally no line at all when we checked in for our flight. The line at security was also really short.

Because we assumed there might be some sort of screening at the airport, we gave ourselves extra time, but the lack of people meant we ended up waiting at the gate for a solid hour and a half before boarding. Additionally, a lot of restaurants and stores inside the airport were also closed.

We also had our temperatures checked many times!

Upon entering the Pudong Airport, a staff member wearing a full-body hazmat-style suit, complete with gloves and a mask, checked our temperature.

The temperature check happened again in security and once more upon boarding the plane.

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We were required to fill out a health form upon exit from and entry into China.

The form asked if we had been to Hubei Province in the past 14 days, made contact with anyone sick, or if we were exhibiting symptoms ourselves.

Fortunately, this didn’t really cause any delays, we just turned it in (a staff member checked it over), and were on our way.

When we boarded the plane, we discovered that it was only 2/3 full, because everyone was being seated with one seat between them.

People weren’t allowed to sit next to each other, and everyone was wearing masks.

On the plane, it was announced that meal service was suspended and only snacks would be provided.

Passengers should wear their masks for the full duration of the trip.

On the plane, we were also given several forms and a flyer about the virus. Besides the regular customs form, we also had to fill out one about our health.

When we arrived in Japan, our temperatures were checked again. We had to sign an additional paper saying we hadn’t been to Zhejiang Province, another highly infected province, in the past 14 days. We were even guided into a shoe disinfection area, so that the soles of our shoes wouldn’t bring in any unwanted germs or bacteria.

We were a little worried that our return flight would be cancelled during our weekend in Japan, but our flight continued as scheduled!

Our flight back to Shanghai followed many of the same procedures as our flight to Japan. The Osaka airport wasn’t nearly as empty as the Shanghai airport, but we were also temperature checked more than once.

This time, people were seated next to each other on the plane, but everyone still wore their masks the whole time, and meal service was once again suspended.

Our temperatures were checked twice on the flight, once before boarding and again before landing.

When we got back to Shanghai, we had to fill out the same health form we filled out when we left. Again, it was pretty quick and painless.

Overall, I was worried about the extra screening measures involved in traveling in and out of China, but it really didn’t cause us too much trouble. Definitely there were a couple of extra steps, but I understand that the procedures are very necessary to help keep the virus contained and under control.


Have you travelled during the Coronavirus? Did you leave or enter China? Tell us about your experience below.

Virus in Chinese – FAQ’s

How do you say Coronavirus in Chinese?

Coronavirus in Chinese is 冠状病毒 Guānzhuàng bìngdú

How do you say Facemask in Chinese?

Face mask in Chinese is 口罩 kǒuzhào.

How do you say “I am ill” in Chinese?

I am ill in Chinese is 我生病了 Wǒ shēngbìng le.

How do you say Doctor in Chinese?

Doctor in Chinese is 医生 yīshēng.

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  • LTL Avatar Irene Magnosi
    Irene Magnosi , Student Advisor

    Welcome to LTL Mandarin School!

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