Flu and Colds


  • Start gradually
  • Slight temperature after first 24 hours
  • Normal appetite
  • Slight headache
  • Stuffed up/runny nose/sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Feeling tired

Symptoms peak after 2-3 days and then gradually ease off.

Symptoms have usually gone within a week BUT for many people it can take 3 weeks for them to clear completely.

A cough may linger for 3 weeks.


  • Starts rapidly
  • Raised temperature in first 24 hours
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe headache
  • Muscular aches and pains
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Feeling exhausted

Symptoms peak after 1-3 days and then gradually ease over several days.

An irritating cough may persist for a few weeks after symptoms have gone.


Antibiotics DO NOT kill viruses and as such are ineffective against colds and flu.

The most useful treatments to help symptoms are available from the pharmacy, these include paracetamol, ibuprofen, throat lozenges, and the pharmacist is trained in giving advice regarding colds /flu and minor illnesses.

Flu vaccinations are available at the health centre for high risk groups – asthmatics/ diabetics/those whose immune system is compromised.

Non-urgent advice: Patient Notice

Other serious illnesses can have similar symptoms to flu for example meningitis/ malaria/ pneumonia.

Symptoms to look out for which require you to seek medical help:

Rash (which doesn’t fade with pressure), headache that becomes worse and worse, dislike of bright lights, drowsiness, confusion, repeated vomiting, chest pains/chest tightness, coughing up blood.

(A more detailed leaflet on colds and flu is available in the health centre waiting room)