As we approach autumn we are entering the cold and flu season. Hence it is important to recognise the symptoms, know how to treat it and prevent speedreading the virus to others.
Cold, flu and Covid-19 will often get better on its own without seeing a GP. But flu and Covid-19 can make some people seriously ill so it is important to get vaccinated if you are advised to.
Cold, FLU and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, cold symptoms are generally milder, come on gradually and mostly affect nose and throat, whereas flu and Covid-19 symptoms are more sever,come on very quickly and can cause mild to severe respiratory infection where it affects nose, throat and lungs. The main symptom that is linked with Covid-19 and it is not present in cold and flu is shortness of breath. The symptoms are more or less the same in both adults and children, however flu in childrenbeen associated with ear ache but Covid-19 symptoms are generally milder in children and most get better in few days.
|Cold Symptoms||Covid-19||Flu symptoms|
|Raised temperature||High temperature or shivering (chills)||High temperature or shivering (chills)|
|Sore throat||Sore throat||Sore throat|
|Coughs||Shortness of breath||Dry cough|
|Sneezing||Feeling tired or exhausted||Feeling tired or exhausted|
|Aching body||Aching body||Aching body|
|Blocked or runny nose||Blocked or runny nose||Difficulty sleeping|
|Pressure in your ears and face||New, continuous cough, this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours||Feeling sick and being sick|
|Loss of taste and smell||Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste||Diarrhoea or tummy pain|
|Loss of appetite||Loss of appetite|
You or your child should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you don’t feel well or have high temperature. You should onlygo back to work or school once feel better and your test is negative.
|Rest and sleep||Get plenty of rest||Rest and sleep|
|Drink plenty of water (fruit juice or squash mixed with water is OK) to avoid dehydration||Drink plenty of water (fruit juice or squash mixed with water is OK) to avoid dehydration||Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light yellow or clear)|
|Gargle salt water to soothe a sore throat (not suitable for children)||Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains||Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains|
|If you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better.||To ease cough, best to avoid lying on your back, try to have teaspoon of honey with ginger but do not give honey to babies under 12months||Keep warm|
|For breathlessness keep the room cool and open a window, breath slowly through you nose, sit upright in a chair, relax your shoulder but do not hunch and most importantly do not panic as this can make it worse|
A pharmacist can advise and recommend best medication to manage your symptoms so always get in touch with your pharmacist before booking a GP appointment.
Temperature and aches: can be treated with Paracetamol and Ibuprofen but be careful when taking remedies as they also can contain the same ingredients which can lead to over dose.
Block nose: can be treated with decongestant sprayand tablets. It is important to note that decongestion should not be used in children under age of 6. Nasal decongestion should not be sed for longer than 5 consecutive days as this can lead to rebound congestion.
Some medication and remedies are not suitable for babies, pregnant and breastfeeding women. Always check with your pharmacist or GP.
They can advise you what to do and arrange for you to speak to a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Cold, flu and Covid-19 are caused by viruses that is attached to the lining of your nose and throatso they spread easily to others by sneezes and coughs. Withcold you are contagions from the time your symptoms appear until all your symptoms resolved. Whereas with flu you are likely to pass it to others in the first 5 days.Covid-19infection can be spread even when you are asymptomatic through breathing, speaking, cough or sneeze.
Flu vaccine is safe and effective vaccine that it is offered every year on NHS that helps to reduce the risk of getting flu and any of its potentially serious complications and if you do still catch it the infection is likely to be milder and shorter in duration. Flu vaccine is particularly important this year as due to COVID-19 fewer people have developed natural immunity and if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time you are more likely to become seriously ill.
for more information regarding Covid-19 vaccine in adult and children please visit