All about the flu and cold

Fever, pains, sneezing, nasal congestion, cough... we've all been through that. The cause is usually a cold or flu. In fact, the common cold is the most common illness in humans1 and the influenza virus ("influenza") is responsible for between 3 to 5 million severe cases per year.2

Your immune system against cold and flu

Once it detects an infection, if your immune system is healthy, it increases the defenses to fight against the pathogen (infectious microorganism). Fever is the signal that your body is increasing heat to fight the infection. Good immune function can help speed recovery and prevent any post-viral respiratory complications.

Avoiding cold and flu3,4

Although avoiding the common cold and flu is more difficult during the fall and winter seasons, you can follow a few simple rules to reduce the risk of infection.

  • Healthy diet: It's no secret that a healthy, balanced diet is essential for good health. Proper nutrition is linked to your body's immune response. A balanced diet should include daily greens, fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread, cereals, moderate amounts of dairy, and small amounts of meat and fish.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Following a healthy, balanced diet should provide your body with adequate levels of essential vitamins and minerals. You can add a vitamin supplement, such as Berocca Immune Daily Defence, to your diet to maintain a healthy and strong immune system.
  • Vaccination: Annual flu vaccinations are available for anyone over six months of age, to help protect yourself and loved ones from serious illness. Consult your doctor before getting vaccinated in case you have allergies or other conditions.5
  • Good hygiene: The key to avoiding disease is to reduce exposure to germs, so practicing good hygiene is even more important when it comes to staying healthy. You should always wash your hands thoroughly before touching or preparing food, before putting on your contact lenses or doing any other activity that requires touching your eyes, face, or mouth.3
  • Your personal items are yours alone: A single sick person can transmit the flu virus to an entire family or group of co-workers. That's because the flu virus can survive up to 24 hours on most surfaces, giving it enough time to infect multiple people. Do not share any personal items, such as toothbrushes, towels, clothing, eating utensils, or glasses.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise helps keep the immune system healthy, reduces stress and inflammation, and keeps white blood cells moving to help the immune system fight infection.
  • Relax and sleep well: There is a correlation between prolonged mental stress and physical illness. That's why avoiding stress and getting a good night's sleep helps your immune system and can improve your overall health.

What should you do when you get a cold or flu?

Whether you have a common cold or the flu, your doctor will always recommend the best treatment and medication, but there are certain things you can do to relieve symptoms while your body is fighting the disease.

  • Stay home and get plenty of rest. Let your immune system do its job quietly and avoid spreading the virus to your co-workers or colleagues.
  • Stay hydrated. You can drink water, juices, soup or even sports drinks. Your body needs fluid to prevent congestion of the sinuses and lungs.
  • Increase humidity. Vaporizers and humidifiers can help relieve congestion if the air in your home is dry.


  1. Eccles, Ronald; Weber, Olaf (2009). Common cold. Basel: Birkhäuser.
  2. Nguyen HH et al (2020). What is the global incidence of influenza?
  3. How to prevent infections. Harvard Medical School, 2016. (Retrieved 2020-02/10,
  4. Gombart AF, Pierre A, Maggini S. A Review of Micronutrients and the Immune System-Working in Harmony to Reduce the Risk of Infection. Nutrients 2020;12 (1):236.
  5. Accessed June 2022
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