Both the cold and the flu have so much in common that it can sometimes be difficult to tell them apart as they share some symptoms, but you will tend to feel much worse with flu, often confined to bed for several days, where as a cold will usually make you feel under the weather.

Both the cold and the flu have so much in common that it can sometimes be difficult to tell them apart as they share some symptoms, but you will tend to feel much wosre with flu, often confined to bed for several days, where as a cold will usually make you feel under the weather. The symptoms of flu usually develop within 1 to 3 days of becoming infected which is more sudden than the common cold, with most people feeling better within a week. However, you may have a lingering cough and still feel very tired for a further couple of weeks. Flu tends to be much more than a cold. The flu, especially in children and older people, is more likely to lead to serious health problems such as pneumonia. As is can be difficult to differentiate the symptoms of both illnesses the main differences are as follows:

FLU Symptoms: 

• Come on quickly
• Usually include fever of 38C or above and aching muscles
• Chills
• Headache
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Tiredness
• Sore throat and dry cough
• Make you feel too unwell to continue your usual activities

COLD symptoms: 

• Come on gradually
• Runny or blocked nose
• Sore throat and sneezing
• Cough
• Mainly affect your nose and throat
• Are fairly mild, so you can still get around and are usually well enough to go to work

Flu season typically is around November through March, although you can get it in October to even as late as May. You can catch the flu at other times of the year however; symptoms outside of flu season are more likely to be from a common cold or allergy.

There are too many different cold viruses to have a vaccine for the common cold, but there is a flu vaccine. This changes annually as different strains start to emerge, so a new one is needed every year. The vaccine does not provide 100% immunity but will significantly reduce your chances of getting the flu. A flu vaccine is available for free on the NHS for:

• Anyone over the age of 65
• Pregnant women
• Anyone who is overweight (BMI over 40)
• Children or adults with an underlying health condition
• Children or adults with weak immune systems
• Children ages 2 to 5 years and not yet in school
• All primary school children

If you are eligible for a free vaccination, contact your local GP surgery. If you are not eligible for a free NHS flu vaccine this does not mean you can’t protect yourself against flu. Davidsons offer a vaccination service for just £12 – call your local Davidsons Chemist to book your vaccination today!