Common Colds and the Flu

Common Colds and the Flu

People often talk about colds and flu (influenza) but it’s important to realise colds and flu are different illnesses caused by different viruses.

Colds are very common. Children may get 5-10 colds a year, while adults may get 2-4 colds each year. Colds affect the nose the throat and upper airways and common symptoms include coughing, feversore throat, sneezing, blocked or runny nose and general congestion.

They are caused by about 200 different viruses and there is no vaccine for a cold.

Symptoms for influenza (flu) can include:

  • sudden fever with a temperature of 38 degrees or above
  • dry, chesty cough
  • headache
  • tiredness
  • chills
  • aching muscles
  • limb or joint pain
  • diarrhoea or upset stomach
  • sore throat
  • runny or blocked nose
  • sneezing
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty sleeping.

See your doctor if you, or your child, has cold or flu-like symptoms and: