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South Africa's traditional flu season is the winter months. The young, elderly, and those with compromised immune systems (such has people living with HIV/Aids or TB) are at risk and must have the flu vaccine.

Don't wait for the flu to find you - when the cold weather arrives come in to your nearest Peermed Clinic and have the vaccination. Be well this winter!

Influenza is not the Common Cold

Influenza (the flu) is a serious viral infection that kills thousands of South Africans each year.

The majority of cases of TB can be managed, treated and cured. If you or any of your loved ones suspect that they have TB, act immediately. The longer TB remains untreated, the more people can become infected.

Is it the flu or just a common cold?

As these two illnesses are similar people may think that they have had the flu, and thus not bother to have the flu vaccination. This is very dangerous as the flu can lead to complications, and even death. Both the flu and the common cold present with similar symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Aching muscles
  • Sore throat
  • Headache

When you have a cold, you may feel ill, but you can generally get on with your life.
With flu, you feel exhausted and need to sleep a lot.
When you have the flu, aches and pains are more severe than with a cold, and the fevers are worse.
A cold may take a few days to develop, and will generally start with the patient experiencing a runny nose and itchy throat.
The flu tends to develop faster with aches and fever appearing quickly.
A cold will tend to clear up within a week with few, if any, side-effects.
Flu can develop complications such as chest infections.

How to avoid the flu

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • If someone sneezes near you, turn your head and cover your mouth and nose for a couple of seconds!
  • Avoid congested areas if possible

Did you know?

The 1918 flu epidemic which lasted from June 1918 to December 1920 killed over 50 million people.

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