Colds and flu

Overview

Read our overview articles about what causes colds and flu and find prevention and treatment advice as well as expert opinion on handling the symptoms of flu.

Preventing a cold

Colds are generally unavoidable but there are a number of ways to bolster your chances of preventing a cold.

Symptoms of a cold

Read a doctors review of what the typical symptoms of a cold are and how a cold progresses

What are colds?

Colds are viral infections of the nose and throat. Colds can go on to involve the sinuses, ears, larynx, trachea and bronchi directly or through secondary effects

Causes of flu

Influenza is caused by three types of viruses which are mainly spread by infected people.

Diagnosing flu

The diagnosis of flu is based on the analysis of symptoms by a doctor. Indications are a high temperature, chills, body aches and fatigue.

Treating a cold

Try these practical tips for treating a cold and help reduce the duration and severity of your illness.

Causes of a cold

The cold is a common infection of the upper respiratory tract. Although many people think you can catch a cold by not dressing warmly enough in the winter, it is a myth that you can catch the common cold from exposure to chilly weather. The real culprit is one of more than 200 viruses.

What is flu?

Flu, or influenza, is a viral illness that occurs predominantly in the winter months in South Africa. It is easily confused with the common cold.

Symptoms of flu

Some of the symptoms of influenza are: high fever with chills, dry cough, sore throat, blocked nose, sweating and shivering, muscle aches and pains.

Preventing flu

It's cold and flu season again. Have you considered which are the best ways of protecting yourself and your loved from the sniffles, coughs and fevers these infections bring?

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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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