Cold and flu lasting longer than usual this year

THE common cold that is making the rounds in Gladstone is running us down for longer than usual, according to a Boyne Island GP.

The owner of the BITS Medical Centre, Gaston Boulanger, said residents were at a "high risk" this year of getting the common cold or flu.

And although it is no worse than previous years, he said it was lasting longer.

"One family for instance, they all had it for three weeks. It's more of a post-flu virus.

"The virus destroys the lining of your breathing airways, and it takes weeks to renew itself," he said.

On average, eight people are heading into his doctor's surgery with the flu or a cold each day.

Shelly Holzheimer had a cold two weeks ago. She said she felt so run down she couldn't visit the doctor, and she could barely talk.

"I just felt shocking. It was quite strange... I was just in agony."

From today, teams of after-hours doctors will start making house calls across Gladstone.

House Call Doctor has declared Gladstone a priority, with new Health Department figures showing the number of flu cases across Queensland is higher than anywhere else in the country.