Crud, Funk, Flu: It's all Here
The flu is a much more serious and highly contagious illness than the general viral crud that has been going around, said Dr. Erin Baker. There have been 14 flu related deaths in North Carolina to date in the 2012-2013 flu season. The Center for Disease Control can help you understand the difference between the flu and common cold.
Prior to the arrival of the flu, many islanders have been laid low with a cold virus causing coughs, aches, sore throats, chills and fever. The general malaise has been circulating since Hurricane Sandy, said Dr. Baker, and complications have included bronchitis, sinusitus, and pneumonia.
"Now we're seeing stuff people brought home from vacation," she said. Kids, especially those in day care and school, generally have robust immune systems. They are also terrific carriers. Adults without children who spent the holidays with extended family may find they are feeling a little funky.
There are many traditional Ocracoke words to describe this feeling. Dr. Erin Baker of Ocracoke Health Center has heard complaints of "being dosed;" and of having "the patsy lab," "the crud," "the croup," or "the funk." Patients have self-diagnosed with both distemper, an animal disease, and diphtheria, for which a vaccine has been in widespread use since the 1930s.
The origins of the patsy lab are unknown, but Trudy Austin remembers her grandmother complaining of it.
"The patsy lab is the umbrella of disease. When you have the patsy lab it means you're bad off," said Jason Wells, who explained that women are more often afflicted by the patsy lab, while men are more inclined to feel dosed.
Care must also be taken to avoid contracting the "dum thummicks," another Ocracoke malady. "Quamished to the gut" describes an upset stomach, and chills and fever at the same time are aptly described as having "the shake and eggers."
If any of these symptoms persist, "the Ocracoke Health Center is here for them," said Dr. Baker, who recommends getting a flu shot, which are still available for both adults and children. The predominant strain this year is Influenza A, and the vaccine is "an excellent match for what's circulating now."
Get your flu shot, wash your hands, eat regularly, don't overindulge, and take care of your body, said Dr. Baker. If you're sick, stay home and rest.
Here are a few more tips from the CDC to stay healthy during cold and flu season.