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Cold & flu health centre

Cold & flu overview

Is it a cold or the flu? A common cold, including chest cold and head cold, can be caused by more than 200 viruses. Seasonal flu is caused by three types of viruses: influenza A, B, and C. Flu season usually occurs in the UK from October to April. The NHS provides flu jabs between late September and early November for those people most at risk from developing complications. At-risk patients may also be prescribed antiviral medications like zanamivir (Relenza) or oseltamivir (Tamiflu) soon after flu symptoms start.

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Latest headlines

Flu drugs not as effective as first thought

A ground-breaking study calls into question the benefits of commonly used drugs to treat flu. Its findings suggest that oseltamivir and zanamivir may not reduce the chance of having serious problems from flu or of spreading the virus to other people.

Read full article

Medications

Common cold symptoms: What’s normal, what’s not

Your nose is constantly running. You're coughing. But are these the symptoms of a common cold? Perhaps you have flu or allergy symptoms instead.

If you understand common cold symptoms, what you may feel with a cold, you can take action, such as getting more rest and fluids early in the illness, when these measures may be most effective. Let's look at some common cold symptoms.

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Preventing cold and flu viruses

Preventing cold and flu viruses

Learn how to prevent viruses like colds and flu through rest, healthy foods and exercise.

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