Definition of flu in English:
- Bear in mind that the viruses causing flu change annually and no two flu epidemics are identical.
- Treatment of colds, flu, sore throats, hay fever and other allergies may also help.
- In the early stages symptoms can be similar to many other winter illnesses like flu.
Mid 19th century: abbreviation.
influenza from mid 18th century:
Italy saw an outbreak of a severe respiratory ailment in 1743. The English minister to Tuscany, Sir Horace Mann, wrote of Rome that ‘Everybody is ill of the Influenza, and many die’. The epidemic spread throughout Europe, and in English influenza became the general term for this type of contagious viral infection. The English shortened influenza to the more familiar flu in the mid 19th century. Italian influenza means ‘influence’ and derives from Latin fluere ‘to flow’. The Italian word also had the sense ‘an outbreak of an epidemic’, and so ‘an epidemic’. Compare malaria
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