We will be offering walk-in clinics for the Flu Vaccine – Watch out for the dates!

What’s the difference between the common cold and “the flu”?

Colds and flu’s are respiratory illnesses that are commonly confused with one another.

The common cold is an inflammation of the mucous membranes and tends to be centered in the nose. Even though you may feel tired or have aches, most symptoms are above the neck.

Influenza – commonly known as “the flu” – can have much more serious effects, making you feel sick all over. You can be vaccinated against the flu but not for a cold.

There are over 200 different types of viruses that can cause a cold; whereas, the flu is caused by a single family of viruses (the influenza viruses).

Cold symptoms typically last between 1 to 5 days. Early signs include a sore throat, sneezing and a running nose. After a few days, nasal secretions usually become thicker and may turn a greenish or yellowish colour. Colds tend to last about a week, but a few symptoms (e.g. cough) may continue for an additional week or so.

The flu tends to occur suddenly, with fever, body aches and extreme tiredness meaning bed rest is normally required. Chest infection is common and can lead to complications such as pneumonia. Symptoms typically last 4 to 7 days; however, the cough and tiredness usually lasts for weeks after the rest of the illness is over.

Click here to learn more about signs, symptoms, treatment and prevention: