Is it a cold or the flu?

How to stop the viruses spreading


There are certain things we can do to help reduce the risk of spread of colds and flu:

  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue away
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing
  • Have a flu jab every year if you are in an at-risk group
  • Regularly wash door handles, taps and other household objects
  • Try to avoid the very young, very old and those with chronic illnesses whilst you are unwell.

These measures may help, but colds and flu do still occur. Colds are extremely common with the average adults two to four colds a year. Families with school-age children, however, may experience up to 12 colds a year. Time to invest in plenty of tissues! Reassuringly, the average adult is thought to only get influenza once every five years, so it is more likely that if you're getting viral symptoms that you have a cold.

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