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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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Fast test may curb overuse of antibiotics

A quick, on-the-spot test for bacterial infections could cut the number of unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics being handed out by doctors.

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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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