A painful, scratchy or dry throat that makes it hard to swallow is often the first sign that a cold is on its way.
Sneezing is the body’s way of keeping the nose free from dust, viruses and bacteria and helps to keep us healthy.
With a cold or flu, you may feel blocked up over the first few days and this nasal congestion usually gets worse over the first week.
A thin or watery trickle is often an early symptom. Over time, you may notice this change colour to yellow, or even green.
A niggling cough is a common symptom that can last for several weeks. In the first few days you may have a dry, tickly cough as your throat becomes irritated. Over the next few days, this may develop into a productive cough, as the infection spreads and your body begins to produce more mucus.
Headaches are common with a cold or flu. As your immune system tries to fight back against the virus this causes inflammation or swelling in the sinus cavities, often resulting in a headache.
A fever may be followed by a feeling of chilliness.
The first sign of the flu is often a high temperature. While fever is a common symptom for children with colds, it is rare in adults suffering with a cold.
In the first few days of a flu, you may feel weak and washed out as your body fights the virus on several different fronts. You may also find that your appetite has decreased.
Muscle aches and joint pain often go hand in hand with flu and occasionally with a cold. They’re a sign that your immune system is releasing chemicals to help fight off the infection.