Colds and flu

The flu virus

How flu viruses change

The genetic make-up of influenza viruses A and B can change in two ways: a slight change known as antigenic drift and dramatic changes known as antigenic shift.

Cold or flu?

Both are common in winter and caused by viruses. We often confuse the one with the other. But there is a huge difference between a cold and influenza: influenza may kill you.

Worldwide flu surveillance

The World Health Organisation (WHO) keeps constant surveillance of the human influenza strains circulating around the world.

load more

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.
This forum will be closed until 5 January 2015.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules