Colds and flu

Updated 05 October 2017

Stop sinusitis in its tracks

The next time your child complains of a runny nose, headache and fatigue, you may have to reach for more than cold medication.

It could be the common chronic problem of sinusitis. Research shows that sinusitis is as common in children as in adults.

Take action:

To prevent sinus congestion from developing into a true sinus infection: use warm water or saline nose drops followed by suction or nose blowing to wash dried mucus out of the nose; run a humidifier in the home; ice applied over the sinus for 20 minutes may give some pain relief; ask your pharmacist about a good decongestant – with treatment, sinus congestion often resolves in five to seven days; a fever and increased pain could indicate a bacterial sinusitis that may need an antibiotic – consult your doctor.

Quiz: is it a cold, sinusitis or flu?


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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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