The latter half of 2011 has seen the demise of some of the UK heavy weight singing sensations. With the likes of international singing star Adele as well as UK sweetheart Cheryl Cole both pulling out of some big time gigs such as Children in Need and rescheduling tour dates, there has been massive fan disappointment across the board. Nobody chooses to be ill especially when it puts your career on the line, but with there clearly being a germ going around, there’s plenty you can do to avoid these dreaded lurgies. For singers out there, voice strain is a common result from singing and performing whilst you may be suffering from an infection. From the moment you contract an infection, you will not experience the symptoms until up to 48 hours later. This means that you are placing a strain on your voice when your immune system is already being attacked. This weakens the vocal chords further thus allowing the virus to attack harder and faster. There are a lot of tell-tale signs when this may actually be occurring without you realising. Experiencing a sore throat singing or a sore throat after singing is a sure sign that your immune system and/or vocal chords are already under attack. This does not necessarily mean you need to throw down the microphone and run off stage in a desperate attempt to save your voice, it simply means there are precautions to take from then onwards in order to prevent vocal damage or further infections. Small things such as stopping or reducing smoking during infection can help greatly. If you are a professional singer, you should already be aware that smoking has dire consequences for your vocal chords. During periods of infection this is significantly worsened as smoking is an irritant to the airways reducing the time for mucus build up leaving the body. Drinking plenty of water is any singers golden rule and this rule should be even more prolific during periods of illness. Throat lozenges and soothing sweets are also a fantastic way of encouraging moisture in your throat and reducing mucus. It is also a good idea to rest your vocal chords as much as possible only using them when truly required. Sticking to some of these simple rules can keep your throat soothed in times of illness and get you back on stage in no time.