Symptoms and Causes of a Common Cold

The first symptom of a cold is usually a sore throat. This is generally followed by sneezing or a blocked, sore or runny nose. Usually, 1 in 3 people with a cold will get a cough and feel unwell.

Colds are caused by viruses. Antibiotics cannot treat viruses. Instead, drink plenty of liquids to replace those lost from sweating and runny noses. Get lots of rest and eat healthily. Do not ask your GP for antibiotics for a cold.

You will usually feel worse during the first 2 to 3 days before gradually starting to improve. Your symptoms will usually last about a week.

Cold and flu symptoms are similar but flu tends to be more severe.

Colds are caused by viruses. They can easily spread to other people. You’re infectious until all your symptoms have gone. This usually takes about a week.

Colds are spread by germs from coughs and sneezes which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.

To reduce the risk of spreading a cold you should:

  • wash your hands often with warm water and soap
  • cough into your elbow to stop germs getting on to your hands and spreading to other people
  • use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
  • bin used tissues as quickly as possible

How to prevent catching a cold

The best ways to avoid catching a cold are:

  • washing your hands with warm water and soap, especially before eating
  • not sharing towels or household items, like cups, with someone who has a cold
  • not touching your eyes or nose. You can infect your body if you’ve come into contact with the virus.
  • staying fit and healthy


extract from January 2020

Practice Policy on New Patients

Woodview Family Doctors are currently not registering new patients to the practice.

Seasonal Flu Campaign

The flu vaccines are now available at Woodview Family Doctors

  • Flu Vaccine is recommended for someone who is
  • Over 65 years of age
  • Pregnant Women
  • A healthcare worker
  • Diabetes
  • Long term illness