Colds and flu

Updated 11 July 2014

Flu: when to see a doctor

It's winter and, unfortunately, with that comes colds and flu. When is a bout of flu serious? And when should you seek proper treatment?

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It's winter and, unfortunately, with that comes colds and flu. In most cases bed rest, lots of fluids and aspirin for pain and fever will do the trick to get you back to healthy. However, when is a bout of flu serious? And when should you seek proper treatment?

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Consult your doctor if: you have a high fever for more than a few hours, and are not certain whether it is because of flu; your fever lasts longer than two days; you feel sick and just don't seem to get better; you have a cough that begins to produce phlegm; you have difficulty breathing, feel a sharp pain when breathing, or have heart problems; you fall into any of the high risk categories; or you are taking medication to fight cancer, or are on medication after organ transplantation or take any medication for HIV/Aids.

 

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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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