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Jane Bates: The virus that stole Christmas 

The viral infection that scuppered Christmas for many of us may not have been flu, but to dub it merely ‘a cold’ fails to convey its severity

The viral infection that scuppered Christmas for many of us may not have been flu, but to dub it merely ‘a cold’ fails to convey its severity

‘How was Christmas?’ I asked a friend. ‘It wasn’t,’ she replied. ‘I had flu so I missed it.’

Like me, she had caught the viral infection that is currently rife, the one that makes you cough until your chest nearly explodes.

Although it is not actually influenza, to dub this virus merely ‘a cold’ fails to convey its severity. The fever, the hacking cough, the debility – hardly a mere sniffle. Calling it a cold doesn’t explain why you are out of action for a week or two.

If the Inuit are supposed to have over 50 words for snow, surely the English language could come up with a word for a winter

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