The 2024 flu season is upon us and it’s ‘not to be sniffed at’

Flu season is here, and some people are already feeling ill from current strains of the virus. Picture: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Flu season is here, and some people are already feeling ill from current strains of the virus. Picture: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Published May 25, 2024


The 2024 influenza (flu) season has already begun and those who've contracted it have complained about body aches and almost Covid-like symptoms.

Durban mom, Adeeba Jean-Louis told IOL that she suffered with a sore throat, tight chest, severe body aches and a stabbing pain in her back.

"It started out as fatigue then the chills kicked in," she said.

She said she started throwing up and ended up going to see a doctor.

"She said it was a severe flu combination of Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and H1N1 (swine flu). I had the worst headache that lasted three days. I lost my sense of taste and smell and couldn't eat. My chest was heavy and I couldn't catch my breath," she said.

Two weeks post sickness, Jean-Louis said she has an irritating cough, a post nasal drip and still severe fatigue.

"I still don't have my senses of taste and smell. This was similar to when I had Covid. This felt much worse," Jean-Louis told IOL.

Brent Lindeque aka 'The Good Things Guy' took to social media to share his experience.

"Thought I had man-flu. Tried to self-medicate (hot toddies included) but it wasn’t really working. Not even Corenza C," he said.

Lindeque said he had brain fog and landed up in hospital.

"I only spent a couple of hours being prodded and tested, but it turns out I had swine flu, which, left untreated, had become Bronchitis mixed with a bit of Pharyngitis," he said.

He encouraged those who are feeling sick to see a doctor.

"Hot Toddies and Corenza C are not going to cut it with this flipping flu. You’re gonna need the hard stuff. And lots of rest," Lindeque said.

Swine flu in humans and animals are NOT the same.

According to Cleveland Clinic: "It's called swine flu because it's similar to a flu virus that affects pigs (swine). The virus leads to a lung (respiratory) disease in pigs."

Picture: NICD

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said influenza A (H3N2), A (H1N1) and influenza B are common seasonal influenza strains in humans.

“The majority of people with influenza will present with mild illness, usually resolving within three to seven days. However, influenza may cause severe illness, leading to hospitalisation or possibly death, especially among those who are at risk of severe influenza illness or complications,” the NICD said.

The institute further encouraged the community to get the flu vaccine.

“Getting your seasonal flu shot is one of the best ways to protect yourself from #influenza, and the same goes for those in your family who are older than six months,” the NICD said.


Sudden onset of fever, muscle pains and body aches, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, feeling tired or unwell and headache.

Who’s most at risk?

Influenza infection resulting in mild illness is most common in children of school-going age between five and 15 years. Influenza can also cause severe illness. The following groups of people are at the highest risk of severe illness: children aged below five years, adults 65 and over, pregnant women and people suffering with obesity and chronic health conditions.

How to prevent contracting the flu?

Influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza infection. The influenza virus is constantly changing and vaccination for influenza has to be administered every year. The vaccine is an inactivated virus that is not harmful and cannot cause flu infection.

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