Flu and cold season is officially here! While we’re all very focused on more serious symptoms like COVID, also remember that all sorts of other winter niggles are still lurking around. We created this article in partnership with our Clicks and Dis-Chem branches to help you and your family stay healthy this Winter!
How do I know if I have a cold or flu?
The main difference between a cold and flu is body aches, fatigue and temperature. While you will rarely experience aches, tiredness and temperatures with a cold; flu almost always has these symptoms – along with chest discomfort and coughing. If flu is untreated it can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis and other respiratory infections. See your doctor or pharmacist as soon as you suspect that you might have the flu. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you will begin to heal.
What are the symptoms?
- A high fever or feeling feverish
- A cough
- A sore throat
- A runny or blocked nose
- Headaches or body aches
How long does flu last for?
Flu symptoms can last up to two weeks without complications, but show signs of relief within two days after starting treatment.
Both colds and flu can be treated with over the counter cold and cough medication. If your symptoms do not improve within 2 – 5 days, then you should see your doctor who might describe antibiotics. It is very important to rest and complete your medication course – even when you start to feel better.
Over-the-counter cold and flu drugs can offer some relief from fever, aches, a stuffy nose and a cough. They don’t cure the flu, but can help ease your discomfort.
Prescription medication can shorten the time you feel unwell if you take them within 48 hours of the first symptoms.
For adults, we suggest having the following medication on hand for when you start to feel any cold or flu symptoms. These are:
Panado (for pain and fever)
1000 mg Vitamin C tablets
A good Multi-Vitamin
How to prevent contracting flu
The best way to prevent flu is by washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water and to avoid touching your face with your hands as much as possible. Eat foods high in vitamin C, such as tomatoes, clementines, naartjies, oranges and peppers. A vitamin C supplement will also assist if you are struggling with your intake. You should be eating a healthy diet and taking a good multi-vitamin all-year round which will strengthen your immune system.
We recommend visiting our Clicks and Dis-Chem stores and stocking up on cold and flu medication for Winter. This would mean that you have the medication on hand at any time of day for when symptoms could start. Our pharmacists will assist you to put a “flu kit” together to ensure that you get the best possible over the counter treatment to prevent and ease your flu symptoms straight away.
Stay warm and safe! Wishing all our customers and visitors good health over these cold and rainy months.