The flu season in Britain is peaking right now and it is easy to feel fatalistic about your chances of infection. But experts say that there are many simple ways to flu-proof yourself. The main problem is that most of us do not bother.
The common cold and flu are both caused by infections in our throat and lungs and share many of the same symptoms. It’s not always easy to tell whether you have flu or just a cold; however flu can be serious and at times life-threatening whilst the common cold is likely just to cause you a few days of feeling unwell.
In general, flu symptoms are worse than cold symptoms.
If you have a cold
You feel under the weather for a few days before your symptoms show up
You have a variety of symptoms but they are generally mild
You probably have a blocked or runny nose, a sore throat and maybe even a mild cough
Your temperature may be a little high making you feel shivery
Although you feel unwell, you can do most of your normal daily activities like going to work, driving, shopping and cooking
If you have flu
You can feel perfectly well then suddenly feel very ill
Your symptoms are generally more severe than with a cold
You may or may not have a blocked or runny nose or a sore throat
Your temperature is high, you have chills and your muscles ache
You feel exhausted, you are unable to carry out basic daily tasks and will probably have to go to bed
It’s important to be able to spot the signs of flu so that you can take action to reduce your risks from this disease if needed.