Colds and flu

About Flu

Learn more about flu and discover the difference between a cold and flu. Find information and advice on swine flu symptoms as well as other forms of the flu virus.

What causes the flu?

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

Symptoms of the 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.

Who gets the flu?

It's very hard to determine exactly how prevalent the flu is. It is, however, very common over the colder months.

What is influenza?

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

Flu risk factors

Certain groups of people are more susceptible to getting the flu, while others risk developing complications.

How is the flu diagnosed?

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

How is the flu treated?

The treatment for uncomplicated flu is very simple. If there is a risk for complications, your doctor might prescribe anti-viral drugs.

Flu prevention

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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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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