Colds and flu

Updated 28 September 2017

Avoiding the killer flu

With the flu season upon us, experts warn that the world may be on the brink of yet another killer pandemic.

With the flu season upon us, experts warn that the world may be on the brink of yet another killer pandemic, like the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak that claimed the lives of more than 20 million people. Besides getting your annual flu shot, there's a lot you can do to minimise your chances of becoming infected.

Take action:
Wash your hands frequently and do not touch your nose, eyes or mouth unnecessarily; be careful of using heaters for prolonged areas in a closed environment – heaters cause dry air which compromises the body's defence mechanisms; avoid close contact and prolonged exposure to people with flu; try not to unnecessarily touch objects around you when in public places – such as the rail of the escalator, your coughing colleague's pen or a computer mouse; and quit smoking.


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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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