Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Yes, the stars have conspired against you

Ever had a really bad case of the flu?  Every joint in your body aches.  You threaten the children with their lives if they touch you or the bed and cause the slightest movement.  You have to force fluids in order to avoid dehydrating but wrapping your fingers around the glass is tantamount to having your fingernails plucked out.  

Ever asked, maybe even out loud, in the midst of your misery, "what did I do to deserve this?"  I mean, did you offend the 
gods and they placed a curse on you?  Well, turns out that the medieval Europeans believed something very close to this.  

The original word was Italian - influencia, which means influence.  Initially it was believed that astrological influences caused influenza.  The term later evolved into "influenza del freddo" or "influence of the cold".  Over the years it was used to describe grippe, sweating sickness and Spanish fever. 

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