Colds and Flu

The common infections known as colds and flu are caused by viruses, unfortunately there is no cure. Antibiotics are of no use, and if used inappropriately can cause harm. Colds tend to have minor symptoms compared with flu, which commonly has fever and muscular aches and pains.

Cold and flu viruses affect the upper respiratory tract and cause symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, sore throat and cough.

The viruses responsible are highly infectious and are passed on via airborne droplets from the coughs and sneezes of infected people.

Most patients recover from these illnesses without seeking medical attention and it is not usually necessary to see the Doctor if you have a cold or flu unless a secondary bacterial infection develops since viruses cannot be killed by antibiotics.

Symptoms may be relieved by over the counter analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and coughs, sore throats and blocked noses can be relieved by cough remedies and decongestants.

The elderly and anyone else with chronic lung conditions may choose to receive an annual flu vaccination in an attempt to immunize and protect themselves from the strain of viruses most likely to strike.