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10 February 2009 @ 10:09 am
Fire and Cold?  
That last post reminded me that we had an exceptionally long Fire season last year, lasting through most of the "Summer" and into early "Autumn". For months, the air in the Bay Area ranged from Unusually Smoggy to Choked With Smoke, and nearly everyone was coughing and dealing with sinus headaches -- even those who don't normally suffer allergies. Southern California, I understand, was as bad or worse.

Now, this "Winter", we've had both a stubborn strain of influenza and an exceptionally persistant strain of the common cold running around. The cold virus is one of those that hits, passes through the infectious sneezing-and-runny-nose phase fairly quickly... and then leaves you with lingering congestion and coughing up gobs of phlegm for weeks.

The 2007 strains were the classic "24-hour virus" -- sneeze sneeze sneeze, blow nose blow nose, wake up the next day fine. That was kind of a new experience for me.

It's tempting to draw a correlation between the constant respiratory irritation of the Fire season, and the continued, long-lasting respiratory irritation of this year's Cold season. Maybe weeks of smoke left our systems more sensitive to this year's virus.

The only hitch in that hypothesis is that, if the reports I'm hearing are correct, the Nasty Clingy Cold That Won't Go Away is spread across North America this year, not just the Golden State.


...smoke-induced viral mutation followed by transportation-mediated infection?
 
 
 
Araquan Skytraceraraquan on February 10th, 2009 08:57 pm (UTC)
I got it in Florida. And while a Californian could certainly have given it to me, given where I was, I haven't been to CA myself since 2005.
silussa on February 11th, 2009 12:05 am (UTC)
Just finishing recovering (with antibiotics) from bronchitis myself. Bad year for illness.
Tombfyretombfyre on February 11th, 2009 12:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, everyone seems to be having an on and off cold this year, even up here. Everyone I know seems to be getting sick every week. :p But one never knows about all the fires. It could just be lots of lung irritation leading to infections, or perhaps even crud being carried around with the smoke.
mythos_amantemythos_amante on February 11th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
I caught the cold TWICE!! Can that happen??? argh, three days in to the second coughing! :((((