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What’s the difference between Covid-19, the flu, and a cold?

As the weather gets colder and the nights draw in, it’s not uncommon for bugs to spread quickly. But with Covid-19 still mutating, how do we tell the difference between all of the symptoms? Here at Linbury Doctors, our members get access to their own dedicated private GP, who they can contact via phone, text, or email whenever they need them. With home visits and flexible private GP appointment times, our GPs take the time to get to know you and your medical history, putting your healthcare first. To find out more about our memberships, visit our membership page here, or give us a call on 0333 050 7338.

If you experience any cold or flu-like symptoms, we always recommend taking a Covid test.

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What are the Symptoms?

As we all are commonly aware, the average cold usually shows symptoms of a runny nose, cough, and sore throat. The flu, however, shows all this plus a high fever or feverish chills, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches and sometimes vomiting and diarrhoea (although this is more common in children).

Covid-19

Unfortunately, as we have battled against Covid-19, the virus has mutated, along with its symptoms. In the beginning, symptoms were a combination of flu and cold effects such as persistent dry coughing, as well as unique symptoms such as loss of smell and taste. However, it’s now reported that a symptom of the Delta variant also includes a runny nose. As for the new ‘Omicron’ variant, we are still learning the severity of symptoms associated with this.

Covid-19 symptoms typically appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. However, some people who contract it can appear asymptomatic, which is why we recommend getting the Covid-19 vaccine in order to protect yourself and those around us. If you are over 30 and have had both doses of the vaccine at least 3 months ago, you can now get your booster vaccine. Find out more about if you’re eligible, and how to book, here.

The Common Cold

Unlike Covid-19, the common cold usually appears one to three days after exposure. Thankfully, colds aren’t thought to be harmful and, with over-the-counter medicines available to ease symptoms, they will usually pass within a maximum of 10 days.

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The Flu

Flu symptoms usually appear about one to four days after exposure to the virus. In most cases, symptoms appear relatively similar to Covid-19 so it’s recommended to always take a lateral flow or PCR test if any symptoms occur.

As a member of the Linbury practice, you will be offered a free flu vaccine as part of your membership, regardless of whether you are in an at-risk group or not. Your private GP will be in touch with you to discuss having your vaccine. If you’re a member and would like to book your flu jab, please do contact your dedicated doctor for a private GP appointment or call our practice line on 0333 050 7338.

How can you avoid getting ill this winter?

Here at Linbury Doctors, we recommend receiving both Covid vaccinations as well as the booster jab if eligible, in order to help protect yourself and others from more severe symptoms. We also recommend getting the flu vaccination to boost immunity.

See below a list of precautions to take during this winter period to help reduce the spread of and risk of infection to you and those around you:

  • Avoid being in close contact with people outside of your household, especially if you have a higher risk of illness.
  • Wear a face mask in indoor public spaces and outdoors where there is a high risk of Covid-19 transmission.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a sanitising hand gel.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth at unnecessary times.

Should you feel any symptoms, we recommend taking a Covid test, just to be sure. You can book your Covid test via Linbury Doctors for fast-tracked results.

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Want to book a Private GP Appointment?

If you’re worried, please get in touch to book your private GP appointment with us. As a member of Linbury Doctors, you can book an appointment at a time that suits you, in the comfort of your own home. We will spend time getting to know you and understanding your health and lifestyle. Our doctors are experienced in general practice and will be able to advise on the best steps for you.

To book a Covid-19 vaccination or to find out more about the virus click here.

Contact us on 0333 050 7338 or visit our memberships page to find out more about becoming a member.