The chances are you are familiar with the common cold. There are thought to be about 200 different common cold viruses to catch, so most adults 'endure' between two and five colds every year.
The Common Cold – What is it?
A cold is a mild infection of the respiratory system (affecting the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways) caused by a virus. It is our body's natural response to dealing with a cold (rather than the virus itself) that produces the symptoms – a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, a sore throat and potentially a cough.
There is no cure for the common cold and it won't respond to antibiotics (because it is caused by a virus) but the good news is that you can treat most of the symptoms quite easily using over the counter products and most you can pick up in your local supermarket or pharmacy.
The more we understand about flu, the more we can do to try and avoid it in the first place, and treat symptoms as best we can if we are unlucky enough to catch it.
The Flu – what is it?
Like a common cold, the flu is caused by a virus which infects the respiratory tract (i.e. the nose, throat, lungs). Although a cold and the flu share a lot of the same symptoms, ask anyone who has had flu and they will tell you - it's not the same. The flu can be quite severe, and leave you feeling low for weeks.
Unfortunately there is no cure for flu and although there is a flu vaccination (flu jab), by the time you feel the shivery onset, it's too late for the vaccine.
Antibiotics won't help either, because flu is caused by a virus. Your best bet is to get as much rest as you can, keep hydrated and reach for a tried and trusted flu remedy such as the remedies specifically made to tackle the symptoms of flu.