Cowra residents are suffering from a merging of colds with allergies as we experience a cold end to winter, doctors say.
It comes as national statistics reveal the dreaded lurgy has struck more than 70,000 Australians this winter, killing more than 20 in NSW.
The season has been labelled the worst year for influenza in more than a decade but Cowra doctors say the season in Cowra hasn’t been worse than previous years.
“”We have seen a surge in people suffering from colds but its not flu,” Cowra doctor Guy Date said.
“There’s definitely been an increase in the number of colds because of the harsh weather that is around at the moment,” he said.
Unlike the common cold, influenza is specific virus, causing a range of generalised symptoms and serve reactions.
While a cold may last for a few days, the flu can last up to 10 and in some cases, it can be lethal.
Dr Date said people appear to be suffering from a combination of colds and allergies which are often worse for people with asthma, diabetes and existing cardiac conditions.
“If people are in a high risk category or are planning to travel it is worth them taking precautions,” Dr Date said of people still considering taking a flu shot.
“With modern travel people are going on holidays and move around so much that we tend to bring viruses back,” Dr Date said.
“If people are in a high risk category or planning to truth it is worth taking precautions.
“But generally healthy day to day people who are not experiencing a lot of contact with people should have the ability to withstand most of the viruses.
Because flu is spread by droplets Dr Date said “we really need to be careful about washing our hands.
Current vaccines covered four strains from both influenza “strand A” and “strand B” but mutations were often hard to predict.
The malnourished, elderly, pregnant, very young and those with poor immune systems were most at risk.
Pain areas: in the muscles
Cough: can be dry or with phlegm
Whole body: chills, dehydration, fatigue, fever, flushing, loss of appetite, or sweating
Nasal: congestion, runny nose, or sneezing
Also common: body ache, chest discomfort, head congestion, headache.