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Health Charities

Macmillan Cancer

Macmillan Cancer Support
One in three of us will get cancer and it’s the toughest thing most of us will ever face. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, or a loved one has, you’ll want a team of people in your corner supporting you every step of the way. Macmillan provide practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care.

Marie Curie Cancer Care

Marie Curie Cancer Care is a UK charity dedicated to the care of people with terminal cancer and other illnesses. Over the financial year 2010/11, we reached a total of 31,799 patients

Youth Health Talk

YouthHealthTalk
Youthhealthtalk enables young people, their family and friends, and professionals such as doctors and teachers to understand young people's experiences of health, illness and life in general. The website feature real-life accounts of issues such as effect on work and education, social life and relationships, consulting health professionals and treatment.

Minor Illness

Get the Right Treatment

Diarrhoea

First Aid

Coughs & Colds

Coughs & Colds

A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It can cause nasal stuffiness, a runny nose, sneezing, a sore throat and a cough. Usually it's a self-limiting infection – this means it gets better by itself without the need for treatment.

 

On average, adults have two to five colds each year and school-age children can have up to eight colds a year. Adults who come into contact with children tend to get more colds. This is because children usually carry more of the virus, for longer.

In the UK, you’re more likely to get a cold during the winter months although the reasons why aren’t fully understood at present.

Treatment of a cold

coughsandcoldsFor most people, a cold will get better on its own within a week of the symptoms starting without any specific treatment. However, there are treatments that can help to ease your symptoms and make you feel more comfortable. These are available from your pharmacy, which means that you can treat yourself, rather than needing to see your GP.

There is no cure for colds. Antibiotics, which treat infections caused by bacteria, don't work on cold viruses.

Self-help

There are a number of self-help measures that may help to ease the symptoms of a cold.

  • Drinking enough fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Steam inhalations with menthol, salt water nasal sprays or drops may be helpful.
  • Vapour rubs may help relieve symptoms for children.
  • Hot drinks (particularly with lemon), hot soups and spicy foods can help to ease irritation and pain in your throat.
  • Sucking sweets or lozenges which contain menthol or eucalyptus may sooth your throat.
  • Gargling with salt water may help a sore throat.

You should try to make sure you get enough rest if you have a cold. It’s not usually necessary to stay off work or school.

Colds & Flu
A factsheet on the causes, symptoms, treatment & prevention of colds & the flu

NHS Choices - is it the common cold or the flu?
Colds and flu can share some of the same symptoms (sneezing, coughing, sore throat) but are caused by different viruses, and flu can be much more serious. Find out

Factsheet - Common Cold
Information about the diagnosis, treatment and symptoms of the common cold

 
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