Home > Medical > Cold and flu infection > Overview 05 February 2013 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. 0 Pin It Ask CyberDoc » Test Do you need vitamin C? » Join Body Talk » Quiz Addicted to pills? » No Flu for you 10 foods to boost your immune system 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, which is also a winter viral illness, although caused by another virus.Flu spreads easily from person to person through droplet distribution when an infected person coughs or sneezes or, quite commonly, through hand-to-hand contact.Influenza viruses can infect the nose, throat, sinuses, upper airways and lungs. In healthy children, young adults and middle-aged people the disease is mostly mild. Flu can, however, be life-threatening in older people, babies, toddlers and in people of any age who have certain underlying conditions.Those who are at highest risk of contracting flu should do everything they can to prevent and avoid the illness and should be treated as soon as possible if complications develop.(Reviewed by Dr Jane Yeats, Department of Virology, University of Cape Town 2006)(Updated and reviewed by Dr Jean Maritz and Dr Leana Maree, medical virologists, Tygerberg Hospital and University of Stellenbosch 2010) More in Medical Seven flu myths More: Cold and flu infectionOverview advertisement Get a quote Momentum - save up to 35% on healthcare advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Add your comment Thank you, your comment has been submitted. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Medical Shortage of chemo drugs at Joburg hospital Medical Popular hair treatment linked to cancer Parenting Size of foetus affects stillbirth risk Lifestyle Climate data could help Tanzania curb malaria Diet and nutrition High-fat diets linked to breast cancer Medical Powdererd alcohol product blocked by US authorities From our sponsors Momentum Health OatWell Dual Cross Is being overweight or obese dangerous? Tips to keep your immunity strong this winter Smile your way to better health Live healthier Strenghten your immunity » Keep your immunity strong Immune system boosters Boost your family's immunity 5 immune boosters in your kitchen You don’t need a handful of vitamins and supplements to keep your body healthy, check out these five immune boosting foods you probably already have in your kitchen. Laugh a little » Eat yourself happy Laugh more and live longer Laughing yoga the best medicine The healing power of laughter A good chuckle doesn't only make you feel happy for a moment, it's beneficial to your health too.