Colds are caused by viruses. When you have a cold, you may sneeze, have a blocked or runny nose, a sore throat and a cough. Colds can make you feel unwell but rarely cause serious harm. Colds usually get better in 7–10 days, but the cough can last up to three weeks.
Influenza, or ‘the flu’, is different to a cold although both are caused by viruses. Flu symptoms usually start suddenly with a high fever and you may feel unwell and need to rest. You may have a dry cough, shivering, sweating and severe muscle aches. Antibiotics are medicines used to treat bacterial infections and diseases; they do not work against viruses.
In Antibiotic Awareness Week 13-19 November, 2017 you can read about viruses, bacteria, protection against influenza, self-care for colds and flu, when to use antibiotics, possible side effects of antibiotics and the overuse of antibiotics. Remember to always seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional before taking antibiotics.