How to tell cold and flu apart

Colds and flu can present with many signs and symptoms, so what is the difference between the two?

On average, an adult will have 2-5 colds per year usually with symptoms like sore throat, headache, sneezing, nasal congestion and coug h. Those 2-5 colds a year might not seem like a lot, but as a busy parent they can really set you back. While each bout might only last a week or so (7 to 10 days to be more precise ), the daily responsibilities can start to pile up if you’re knocked out of action at their peak (usually 2 to 3 days after infection ). In some cases, if symptoms last for more than a week, like a cough (which is known to happen) it can really keep you and your family up at night.

Speaking about your family, let’s not forget how often your kids can get a cold (on average school kids have 7-10 colds per year ) and the time it takes to look after them.

A flu usually has a sudden onset of symptoms like fever, muscle pain, and weakness putting you out of action (fever usually last 3-4 days ) and making daily activities harder than usual. Other symptoms of a flu can also include cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and loss of appetit e.

Whether it’s a cold or flu, knowing the right information and having the right tools on hand so you can get on top of those symptoms is important to keep you and your family’s lives on track.

Causes of Cold and Flu

So what are colds and flu anyway?

Viral infections are what cause both a common cold and flu. Viral infections are highly contagious, and usually spread by coming into contact with viral particles that you or your family may encounter on surfaces (e.g. door handles), objects (e.g. toys, tissues) or breathing them in from the air (e.g. after an infected person sneezes). As a parent, that’s why you know it’s important to wipe down surfaces and make sure the kids are constantly washing their hands.

Rhinoviruses are the cause of the common cold and there’s hundreds of variants that have been discovered and they are highly adaptable, making it difficult to develop a vaccine against them.

Cold and Flu Relief and Living Well

While cold and flu viruses are invisible to the eye, there are some steps you can take to minimise you and your family’s risk of exposure. Because as you know, whether it’s you or your kids, being sick with colds and flu is never fun.

To help reduce you and your family’s risk of catching a cold or flu:
✔️ Wash hands regularly with soap and water and dry them thoroughly
✔️ Avoid sharing cups/glasses, dishes and cutlery
✔️ Consider immune health supplements like zinc

Explore the DEMAZIN® range of cold and flu products to help provide relief from symptoms of colds and flu for you and your family.

Frequently asked questions about cold and flu symptoms


The common cold usually lasts somewhere between 7 to 10 days.


Yes. Cough is a symptom often associated with colds and flu.


While there may be similarities in symptoms between a cold and seasonal allergies, you should always follow the directions for use of any treatment and read the product label before purchase. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for more information.


There are some studies that suggest supporting your immune system to help prevent or combat colds and flu. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for more information.