Let’s start by sorting out the difference between colds and flu because there is a difference, although both are viral infections.  Antibiotics have no effect on viruses, so there is no point in trying to get some from your doctor to cure a cold.  In fact there is no cure; you just have to wait while your body’s natural defences fight off the virus.  This can take between 1-14 days, but you can effectively treat the symptoms and make yourself more comfortable with 'over-the-counter medicines'- these are medications that you can buy from your local pharmacist without a prescription. The pharmacist can best advise you on the most appropriate medication to purchase for your signs and symptoms.

Colds are caused by more than 100 different viruses, so many that it is impossible to make a vaccine that would stop us from getting them.

Colds are caught by breathing in microscopic droplets of fluid containing the virus sneezed or coughed out by a person who has a cold.  You can also pick up on your fingers infected droplets that fall onto surfaces, and then put them into your body by touching your nose or eyes.  Colds are most common in the winter months, but can occur at any time of year.


Flu is caused by different viruses from those that cause colds.  Although it is caught in the same way and has similar symptoms, flu is quite a nasty illness and it can lead to serious complications in vulnerable people, such as the elderly and people with certain long-term medical conditions.  You should be vaccinated every year if you are over 65, or if you have bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, heart disease, kidney disease or diabetes, have a BMI > 30 or if your immune system is weakened by disease or treatment.



 Feeling unwell :