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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

THE WORD'S WORTH: Catch the Sick Talk AsGripp Grips City

Nelechyonyi gripp prokhodit za nedel'yu, a lechyonyi f za sem' dnei, goes the saying: "Untreated flu passes in a week; treated, in seven days." Not much help when you yourself are caught in the grip of gripp, or influenza. It also came as little comfort to me as I stared blearily at the television from my sweat-caked sick bed last week to hear the city's chief doctor confirm that v Moskvye ob'yavlena epidemiya grippa (a flu epidemic has been announced in Moscow).

Before the outbreak is official, a lot of doctors seem to shy away from the word flu, preferring to speak of a virusnaya infektsiya (viral infection). For the stricken patient, though, it generally boils down to the same thing: plokhoye samochuvstviye (feeling bad), golova/gorlo/spina bolit (head/throat/back hurts); myshtsy/sustavy lomyat (muscles/joints ache); vysokaya temperatura (high temperature). And in case any one is in any doubt, you can also croak: U menya oznob (I feel shivery) and u menya silnyi zhar (I have a high fever).

If you can't make it to see a doctor at a clinic, try to vyzvat' vracha (call out a doctor). On the telephone you can ask U vas mozhno vyzvat' vracha na dom? (Do you make house calls?) If the answer is yes, it will certainly be platno (for a charge).

The doctor will listen to your chest and lungs and izmerit temperaturu gradusnikom (take your temperature with a thermometer). If it's flu, he or she can do little more than order a postel'nyi rezhim (confinement to bed), and depending what school of treatment they adhere to, recommend f or forbid f you to use zharoponizhayushchiye lekarstva (fever-reducing medicines), i.e. hot drinks like Coldrex, and to pit' vitaminy (take vitamins).

In most cases, it is not the flu itself that worries the doctor, but the danger of oslozhneniya poslye grippa (complications after flu), like oslozhneniya na serdtse (heart complications) or vospaleniye lyogkikh (pneumonia).

The standard wish when someone is not well is popravlyaisya/popravlyaityes' bystreye/skoreye (get well quickly/soon), or vyzdoravlivai/vyzdoravlivaitye (get well).

One part of the chief doctor's television appearance was about how he rued the lack of public response to appeals that people sdelat' privivku ot grippa (get inoculated against flu). While strains of flu vary, this precaution should at least spare you full blown incapacitation.

But if you do go down with it, the silver lining of such an unpleasant but essentially harmless disease is that you emerge with a little more awareness of the need to look after yourself. As the visiting doctor pointed out to me: Bylo by zdorov'ye f ostal'noye kupim! Just as long as we have our health f we can buy everything else!