Colds and flu

Updated 05 October 2017

Forget fitness when flu strikes

You're training hard. Then, out of the blue, you're struck down by a nasty bout of flu. What are the implications for your exercise routine?

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Forget about "sweating out" a cold or flu – don't train if you have flu! Strain on an infected heart muscle (myocarditis, one of the possible complications of flu) may lead to paralysis of this muscle. There have been cases – in young sportspeople – where the only way to survive after myocarditis was a heart transplant. A gradual return to exercise after recovering from flu is best. You should generally not exercise for at least seven days after recovering.

Read more: Should you get a flu shot?

 

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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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