Summer flu?

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It's summer and everybody is on the beach. But you're stuck in bed – with a temperature and aching muscles. Do you have the flu?

No, your flu-like symptoms are most probably caused by another virus.

"In South Africa, we only see flu from about April to August/September. This varies from season to season and in different provinces," says Dr Craig Corcoran, clinical virologist at the University of Cape Town.

"Flu-like symptoms outside of this time are from another cause, usually another virus," he says. "There is no effective treatment for any other virus causing flu symptoms apart from flu."

Viruses that could be causing your symptoms include:

  • respiratory syncytial virus;
  • parainfluenza 1, 2 or 3; or
  • human metapneumovirus.

- (Health24, updated December 2009)

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