Cold and Flu



The common cold, including chest cold and head cold, and seasonal flu are caused by viruses. The flu is a viral infection affecting your nose, throat and sometimes your lungs. Typical symptoms of flu include fever, sore throat, tiredness and muscle aches.


Common cold symptoms typically develop about one to three days after exposure to cold-causing viruses.These viruses can be spread through the air, personal contact, and respiratory secretions — things such as a handshake, touching contaminated objects, and exposure to an infected person’s sneezes or coughs. The most common symptoms of the flu are:

  • sudden appearance of a high fever (38 °C or more).
  • a dry cough.
  • body aches (especially in the head, lower back and legs).
  • feeling extremely weak and tired (and not wanting to get out of bed).

Other symptoms can be:

  • chills.
  • aching behind the eyes.
  • loss of appetite.
  • sore throat.
  • runny or stuffy nose.

When you’re sick, limit exposing yourself to other people. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Also, stay hydrated and rested; avoid alcohol and caffeinated products.


There is no sure way to prevent colds, especially in children. As children grow into adults, they naturally get fewer colds.

The following may help protect you against catching colds:

  • Wash your hands often, especially when you are around people with colds.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking irritates the mucous membranes of the nose, sinuses, and lungs, which may make them more susceptible to infections.
  • Keep your stress levels under control. If you are exposed to cold viruses, a high level of stress may increase your chances of catching a cold.
  • When you have a cold, avoid sneezing without covering your mouth. Also avoid spreading nasal secretions on your hands.
  • Use disposable tissues rather than a handkerchief.

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Prescription Online is not an emergency service. If symptoms are critical or life-threatening, you should call triple zero (000) or go straight to hospital.