Sometimes it can be difficult to avoid catching a cold, but the majority of cold and flu symptoms should clear up within around 10 days and there are ways you can treat yourself at home to help you feel better sooner.
Flu symptoms in particular can make you feel exhausted and unwell. The best thing for this is resting and, if possible, staying in bed until you’re feeling better.
A strong sneeze can travel the length of a bus or tube carriage! If you sneeze, don’t forget to cover your nose with a tissue to try and limit the spread to others.
Flu is caused by a different group of viruses to a common cold, and symptoms of flu tend to be more severe and last longer.
With flu, you are likely to experience a fever, tiredness and general aches and pains in your muscles and joints, whereas a common cold isn’t associated with these symptoms.
The majority of cold and flu symptoms will clear up in 4-5 days.
However, complete recovery from a cold or flu can take between 10-14 days. We know it can feel like forever when you’re not well, but it’s completely normal!
Common symptoms of a cold include:
There is no cure for a cold, but you can treat the symptoms yourself at home or with help from over the counter medicines at your pharmacy, so you don’t need to take a trip to your GP.
Antibiotics will not treat cold or flu symptoms, as these illnesses are caused by a viral infection not bacterial.
Call NHS 111 or visit your GP if you have any of the following symptoms and are worried:
If you're concerned about yourself, a relative or friend, call NHS 111 for medical advice, this free service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
The advisors taking 111 calls are in the same room as those answering 999 calls, so if urgent attention is needed, they can arrange it immediately for you.
Your views and feedback are important to us as we strive to ensure health services in Hampshire are the best they can be. If you would like to get in touch with the CCG or if you have any questions or feedback on the information on this website, please contact us via:
Tel: 02380 627 444 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Omega House, 112 Southampton Road
Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO50 5PB
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The NHS in Hampshire is represented by seven local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs):
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This website was created in 2015 by West Hampshire CCG in order to support local people to manage minor illness and injury.