Cold & Flu

It can often be difficult to know whether you are suffering with a cold or flu. Both can bring on similar symptoms, such as tiredness, muscle aches or coughing. But the flu usually hits suddenly while a cold happens more gradually. The biggest difference is that the flu feels much worse. If you are unsure or concerned, you should see a doctor and seek expert medical advice.


Every year millions of people suffer from cold and flu symptoms with varying degrees of severity. Some common symptoms of colds include coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, a mild fever, headaches, a sore throat and a blocked nose. You may also feel tired or a little drained. These symptoms often develop within a couple of days and typically last for 5-7 days - or up to a fortnight for some people.

You should see a doctor if your symptoms worsen over time or fail to resolve as expected.


Unlike colds which can be caused by nearly 200 viruses, flu is caused by just three, although there many different strains that appear year-on-year.

When suffering from flu, symptoms may surface much quicker than they do with a cold. These symptoms can often include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating
  • Feeling very tired or needing to lie down
  • Chesty cough
  • A fever of 39°C or more

Flu symptoms often appear between Day 1 and Day 3 following an infection and typically last for a week or so.

If you suffer from a chronic condition, such as asthma or diabetes, and suspect you might be suffering with flu symptoms, you should see a doctor.