Colds and flu are often grouped together and frequently begin with similar symptoms but they are caused by different types of viruses. They can be hard to tell apart but flu typically starts more abruptly with symptoms that are more severe and last longer.
The Common Cold
Colds rarely last longer than a week but depending on the type, they can make your life a misery while they’re around. The usual symptoms you might experience with a cold include:
- A cough
- Either a runny or blocked nose
- Sore throat
You may also notice aching muscles, headache and a mild fever but these occur less frequently with a cold.
You can catch flu at any time of the year but it’s far more common in the winter. This is why you may hear it referred to as seasonal flu. The symptoms of flu can be very debilitating and although it may resolve within a week, it’s not unusual for flu to last longer. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- A dry, chesty cough
- Generalised muscular aches and pains
- A sudden fever
- Weakness and fatigue
Treatment and What to Do
Antibiotics won’t help with cold or flu symptoms as they’re caused by a virus. Drinking plenty of fluids and resting is important, and eating lots of fruit and vegetables to support your immune system.
There are also a number of different cold and flu medicines which are available in our online pharmacy. These include cough medicines, decongestant sprays, throat lozenges and formulas to help with aches and pains.
Most medicines and treatments for cold and flu aren’t suitable for children but there are alternatives such as Vicks VapoRub which can ease congestion and promote easier breathing.
If you’re not sure what products are suitable, we’re always happy to provide advice at our 24 hour pharmacy online.