Hearty Welcomes & Salutations! Originally an action-packed travel blog from a globe-trotting Scotsman, An Ache for the Distance has, over the years, slowed down (I post less often), mellowed out (my dogs and kid have found their way on here) and become more of an expat blog (I German things up). Take a look around, leave a comment and share the love if you like something.
Stuart Mathieson, Lübeck, Germany

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

India Preparation - Vaccinations

Hepatitis? Check. A & B? Check. Tetanus & Diptheria? Check. Typhus? Check. Pneumokokken? Check...wait, pneumo what?

A couple of weeks ago a friendly, smiling German doctor took great pleasure in ramming a giant pneumokokken filled vaccination into my arm, why? Because I told her I hadn't had one before. Why did I say this? Because I didn't know what it was.

Rather than admit ignorance to the plight of those suffering from pneumokokososity, I took another needle. Some time later after the pain disappeared, I thought it best to find out what I was now immune to.

An internet translation of the German word kokken was required. I think it would be fair to say that I'm not the only English speaker who, when faced with a word like kokken, would be curious to find out which part of the anatomy is now vaccinated. Alas, kokken translates in English as coccobacilli.

With this new found fact, I surmised that I might now be vaccinated against some form of Italian pasta, a variety not sold in Lidl. Wikipedia was needed.

This is what I found,

Streptococcus pneumoniae, or pneumococcus, is gram-positive, alpha-hemolytic, bile-soluble aerotolerant anaerobe and a member of the genus Streptococcus. A significant human pathogenic bacterium, S. pneumoniae was recognized as a major cause of pneumonia in the late 19th century and is the subject of many humoral immunity studies....

The last words... Humoral immunity... That's chilling. Did a German doctor immunise me against humor, albeit only American humour with that spelling? Not possible, although Germans are famous for not having a sense of humour so it would make sense... Hmmmm...

In the end, I still couldn't find out exactly what I was vaccinated against. But, at least now I can sleep soundly at night knowing the word Kokken won't be on my gravestone...

2 comments:

Anji said...

Aren't words wonderful? In France some of the the words for sore throat and heart disease are very similar. At least the doctor knows what he's talking about.

Stuart Mathieson said...

YOu hope he knows what he's talking about! :)

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