NHS Choices – Cold or Flu?
Colds and flu can share some of the same symptoms (sneezing, coughing, sore throat) but are caused by different viruses, and flu can be much more serious.
If you're generally fit and healthy, you can usually manage the symptoms of a cold or flu yourself without seeing a doctor. Look after yourself by resting, drinking non-alcoholic fluids to avoid dehydration, and avoiding strenuous activity. Painkillers (such as ibuprofen or paracetamol) can relieve aches and pains if necessary.
However, some people need to take extra care as they're more at risk of serious chest complications, such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Everyone over 65 is more at risk of complications. People under 65, including children, are more at risk of complications if they have:
serious heart or chest complaints, including asthma, serious kidney or liver disease, lowered immunity due to disease or treatment, or have had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).
Everyone in an at-risk group is eligible for a free flu vaccination. This is the best protection against the virus. Around four million people under 65 in England are in one of these high-risk categories, but only 45% of them had the flu jab in 2007.
Bupa - Colds & Flu
A factsheet on the causes, symptoms, treatment & prevention of colds & the flu
NHS Choices - is it the common cold or the flu?
Colds and flu can share some of the same symptoms (sneezing, coughing, sore throat) but are caused by different viruses, and flu can be much more serious. Find out more.
These links all come from trusted resources but if you are unsure about these or any other medical matters please contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.