Stay well this winter


Is it a cold or is it flu?

Cold and flu are very different conditions.

Feeling run down? Coughing? Is it a cold or is it flu?

Cold symptoms

Cold symptoms come on gradually and can include:

  • a blocked or runny nose
  • a sore throat
  • headaches
  • muscle aches
  • coughs
  • sneezing
  • a raised temperature
  • pressure in your ears and face
  • loss of taste and smell

The symptoms are the same in adults and children. Sometimes symptoms last longer in children.

Flu symptoms

Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:

  • a sudden high temperature
  • an aching body
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • a dry cough
  •  a sore throat
  •  a headache
  •  difficulty sleeping
  •  loss of appetite
  •  diarrhoea or tummy pain
  •  feeling sick and being sick

The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.

Please don’t underestimate how serious flu can be. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones  – and it can be free for many people.

Cold weather doesn’t have to go hand in hand with illness. There are some simple things you can do to help yourself stay well this winter.


Free flu vaccinations are available for those who:

  • are aged 65 or older
  • are aged two, three or four years old (but not five years or older) on 31 August 2015
  • are children of school years 1 and 2 age
  • are primary school-aged children in areas that previously participated in primary school pilots in 2014/15
  • are pregnant
  • have a serious medical condition such as chronic heart, lung, neurological, liver or kidney disease, or diabetes
  • have a weakened immune system due to HIV or treatments that suppress the immune system such as chemotherapy
  • have had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or post-polio syndrome
  • are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility (not prison or university halls)
  • are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill

More information on this campaign can be found at NHS Stay Well.

Useful information

More information about organisations and charities which can help older people during winter can be found on the following websites: