Cold and Flu: What’s the Difference?

It is that time of year again when the uninvited common cold and flu arrives, affecting the majority of the population.

It is very common to think that having a cold and having the flu is interchangeable, given that they share certain symptoms and usually appear during the winter period. However, they are caused by different viruses and the flu is more serious, especially to certain groups of people.

The common cold can appear throughout the year and is caused by over 100 different viruses, including rhinoviruses and adenoviruses.  On average, people suffer between 3 and 12 colds yearly.

The flu is only caused by three different strains of the influenza virus (types A, B, and C). Types A and B cause the large seasonal outbreaks.

The following table compares the symptoms of both the cold and flu:

Onset Gradual Rapid
Duration  7 days (some can last up to 14 days) 10 – 14 days
Symptoms Cough, sore throat, mild headache, blocked and runny nose Cough, sore throat, more severe headache, nausea, sudden fever, loss of appetite, aching body, fatigue


To help reduce the symptoms, the following advice is reccommended:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, around 8 glasses per day
  • Use your own cutlery
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue, throwing it away as soon as possible and wash your hands to prevent spreading of germs
  • Be sure to get a flu jab if you fall in to the at-risk category.


We at Manchester Pharmacy can provide treatment to help alleviate the symptoms, without the need to see a doctor. Medication includes: painkillers, nasal decongestants, cough mixtures, sore throat remedies and much more. Please contact us on 0161 274 4442 to speak to a member of our team for further advice.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This