Colds and flu

Updated 05 October 2017

Fight flu this winter

Down with the flu? Many people make the mistake to think that antibiotics could help. But as flu is caused by the influenza virus, these medications won't make a difference.

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Luckily, there are steps you can take to speed up your recovery.

Take action:
Stay in bed for a few days to rest; ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter drugs to relieve symptoms; increase your intake of vitamins A and C; try aromatherapy oils like lavender, grapefruit or rosemary oil in your bath or as a massage oil; try zinc lozenges to soothe a sore throat and zinc nasal spray for a runny nose; chicken soup may soothe a sore throat, clear clogged passageways, and hydrate a thirsty body; consult your doctor if the flu is severe, if you show any signs of a secondary infection, or your fever persists longer than three to five days.

Read more: Flu and children

 

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Ask the Expert

Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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