Colds and flu

Updated 12 October 2017

The three types of flu viruses

There are three types of influenza viruses, namely type A, B and C.

It is impossible to tell the difference between influenza A and B virus from the symptoms that you have, but influenza C causes a much milder illness resembling a cold.

It is important to note that one may be infected with influenza A, B and C in the same winter, or in successive winters, as these flu viruses differ significantly from one another.

Read more:
Symptoms of flu
How do people get flu?
1918 - why the flu spread so rapidly


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

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.

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