Influenza: an epidemic catarrh.
Naturally, you know what a catarrh is.
Neither did I.
A catarrh is an inflammation of the nose and throat. It is from the Greek κατάρροος, which is basically a “head cold”. Kατάρροος means, “I flow down.” Just use your imagination.
Anyway, back to influenza. Influenza comes from the Latin word influentia (influence).
Turns out, Italian doctors weren’t all that sure what caused the flu all those years ago. They ended up blaming the stars. When someone came down with the flu, they were thought to be “under the influence of certain astronomical bodies”.
Whatever the cause…, stars, or sugar… my family is down with influenza.