I was not a bit surprised to read in the local paper this morning that the flu is expected to be a doozey in the US this winter, seeing as how it is both a particularly nasty strain and has started earlier than usual. In the same article, they refer to a new breed of norovirus sweeping the nation, and I wonder if that’s what I was lucky enough to get in Colorado earlier this year. The parts about “explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting” certainly sound familiar.

I went to Wikipedia and read up on the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak, which is the best known and one of the most lethal “natural disasters” in history. It is said to have killed 3-5% of the world’s entire population, and took its biggest toll in sufferers between 20-40 years old. That was particularly unusual, but the epidemiology indicates that those very robust immune systems reacted with “cytokine storms,” which was a sort of significant immune reaction, and that strong reaction left their bodies ravaged. Many of the deaths ultimately came through a secondary infection of pneumonia. Now imagine that happening concurrently with World War One. Scary, huh?

I am reasonably sure that the recent illness in the Vox household was a current version of the flu. Junior and I both had fevers that ranged from 5-7 days long, which is very unusual for us. We all had very strong, phlegmy coughs and I hacked so badly for days that all the muscles around my ribs were sore. The cough and fever started us out (JV had the vomiting as well), and then we moved from there to lots of sinus congestion and drainage, and finished with sore throats. That’s exactly bass-ackward for how we usually get sick; we ordinarily start with the sore throat, then go through the congestion and finish with the cough.

None of us had the flu vaccine this year, though I understand the variant in the vaccine wasn’t “the right one” this year and that we probably would have got the flu anyway. We treated it mainly with Tylenol and by taking big swigs off a bottle of elderberry and echinacea extract that I got from the local health food store. Mr. Vox and I also took Mucinex to help keep things loose, as it were. I had a big pot of water steaming on the stove all day long as well. Nothing besides Tylenol really made us feel much better; we just had to ride it out. I am hoping, hoping, hoping that we are through with being sick for the winter.

How are your families faring over this flu season?

This entry was posted on Friday, January 11th, 2013 at 2:19 am and is filed under Anonyvox Junior, Casa Anonyvox. You can leave a comment and follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

6 Comments Leave a comment

    kathy said:

    Jan. 11, 2013

    I got it just before Christmas. I had a cold and laryngitis the first week of December, which isn’t unusual for me that time of year, but it lasted a lot longer than normal (usually my voice will be gone for a day or two, but this year I was out for a week–my students loved it). I still had a cough for a while after that and while my immune system was still weak, I managed to get the flu. Fever, coughing, sinuses, and severe dizzy spells for over a week. It was miserable. It was especially miserable because that was the week when I was out of school and the boys weren’t, so I was sick during my week off.

    So far, though, I’m the only one in the house to get it. S and the boys have all had the original cold, but everybody was over it within a day or two and it was all before the laryngitis–they brought it home to me.

    Shelly said:

    Jan. 11, 2013

    Just goes to show you how the media is. On our local news, we were told the flu vaccine was a great match this year (which makes no sense when so many people are getting sick).

    Can winter just be over already, please?

    Nan said:

    Jan. 11, 2013

    Because we’re basically hermits, the S.O. and I have been fine. The same isn’t true of the local populace as a whole: schools in both districts in the county were closed for awhile because so many kids were out sick.

    Closing a school as soon as there’s one case confirmed can stop an outbreak from spreading, but apparently the local administrators waited until most of the student body was infected — so, yes, flu is hitting hard here.

    Jodi said:

    Jan. 12, 2013

    I’ve heard the same thing, that the flu shot was a great match this year. Ival and I both got ours and everyone around us got sick (they hadn’t had the flu shot). I think it worked for us!

    mumsyjr said:

    Jan. 14, 2013

    We had to postpone our annual family New Year’s dinner because too many of us were down with flu. I had about 24 hours of aches, chills, congestion and sore throat and it was awful but over pretty quick (that’s how I usually do flues, though, quick but nasty). My brother had the vomiting. My kid didn’t get sick, but my mom got it a couple weeks later. I just don’t do flu shots because I tend to get no sicker from actual flu than I do during my reaction to a flu shot. Now, if I worked regularly with an immune compromised population, I’d get it. But I don’t, so it is rarely worth it for me. I’m hearing mixed reports about the effectiveness of the flu shot this year. The general idea I’m getting is that there are TWO nasty strains and they got one in the mix but not the other? I don’t know the reporting I’m seeing is contradictory and unclear.

      anonyvox said:

      Jan. 15, 2013

      I’ve had very mixed results with the flu shot, so I just can’t make up my mind whether it’s worth it or not.

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