For those of us who have had the flu, we definitely know the difference between the flu and a bad cold. But for those who have never had flu, how can you tell the difference?

Many people think they have flu, when they actually have a bad cold. That’s because some of the symptoms are similar, but there are also some real differences.

Here are the common symptoms of each:


  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Tickly throat
  • Cold symptoms develop gradually


  • Muscular aches
  • High temperature 38-40°c
  • Shivering
  • Lethargic with no energy (You may just want to stay in bed!)
  • Flu symptoms develop abruptly


How can we help?

There isn’t a vaccine to stop you catching a cold, but you can help to protect yourself by eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, staying physically active and washing your hands frequently. There are also cold remedies that can help you to cope with the symptoms such as, throat lozenges for a sore throat.

The best way to avoid flu is to have a flu vaccination. Those considered most at risk can get a free flu vaccine from the NHS which can be delivered in selected LloydsPharmacy stores. Find out if you are at risk here or if would like to book a vaccination click here.