Monday, 8 July 2013


One of my pet peeves is the way so many people get a sniffle or cough up some phlegm and pronounce that they have the flu. I sometimes try to correct people, though it rarely seems well received. It's a "cold", not the flu, I tell them. It's a corona- or rhinovirus or one of the many other viruses that cause such symptoms, but it's almost certainly not an influenza virus.

A fair few years back when I was similarly afflicted, a GP wrote out a medical certificate for me and, in the field for the condition, wrote URTI. I asked him about it and he said it was an acronym for upper respiratory tract infection. I liked it. Short, simple and descriptive, while suitably vague, it was perfect.

I'm sick today. It's just an URTI.

Is it weird that I have contemplated photographing my phlegm?

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