Lifecycle of Cold & Flu

Lifecycle of Cold

It's there but you can't tell yet...
You may well have the beginnings of a cold for a day or two before those first tell tale cold symptoms kick in – think a dry, scratchy sore throat, sneezing and a runny nose. These particular symptoms are thought to be caused by the virus infecting the back of the nose first.

You could already be spreading the virus to others
You can infect others with a cold two or three days before you realise you have it yourself but it is when the initial symptoms are at their worst that you are most infective to others.

Most colds are gone in a week
Typically cold symptoms last for around seven days although according to the Common Cold Centre in Cardiff some cold symptoms may persist for up to 14 days in a quarter of patients...

So looking on the brightside you have a 75% chance of feeling better within a week.

The outlook – another cold front coming?
The good news for all is that around two weeks after the infection you will start to produce antibodies that prevent you from catching that particular cold virus again.

The bad news is that there are around another 199 strains of cold virus, so you can pick up another one that you haven't had yet – and that could happen straight away.

Lifecycle of Flu

It's there but you can't tell yet...
The 'lifecycle of flu' begins before you even realise you have it. The chances are you came into contact with the flu virus a couple of days before the symptoms began to show, and have been carrying it around without knowing it...

It comes on fast...
But when the flu symptoms start, they come on fast and can be more severe than a cold. Unlike a cold that can take a day or two for the symptoms to slowly develop and 'come out', flu will have you feeling achy, fevery, sweaty and shivery quite quickly...

The early days...
Although the fever and other main symptoms should have peaked after two or three days, it can take a week or so before you start really feeling better, and even then the chances are you will feel exhausted, or 'wiped out' for a few weeks more.

Your future flu forecast...
These antibodies will ensure that you don't get this exact flu virus again but unfortunately they can't protect you from getting another type of flu again as the strains are constantly evolving.

The invisible touch...
Did you know that you can infect others with flu a whole day before you even display the symptoms yourself? You are also contagious for up to five to seven days after you first become ill