Do You Have A Cold Or The Flu? Here’s How To Tell The Difference

The months of May, June and July marks the flu season in Singapore. Flu also known as influenza, is unpredictable and causes a significant burden globally each year, placing strain on healthcare systems and the economy.

Public-health authorities consider seasonal flu to be a serious public-health concern, not only causing severe illness and death, but also taking a considerable economic toll through lost workforce productivity and strained health services. Each year, Singapore’s annual seasonal influenza epidemics result in:

  • >520,000 outpatient visits
  • ~1,500 hospitalisations
  • ~600 deaths
  • >315,000 work days lost

Even in otherwise healthy people, the flu can lead to a wide range of severe and life-threatening complications. The sudden appearance of symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches tiredness, vomiting or diarrhoea could suggest an influenza infection.

Here are five things you didn’t know about the flu from Dr Leong Hoe Nam, Infectious Disease Expert at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital:

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