Colds are a nuisance at the best of times and avoiding them is ideal, particularly when the one currently sweeping the UK is said to be a ‘super cold’.
The cold is a normal part of our winter, but because many of us have been self isolating, people are claiming to experience the “worst cold ever”, with even more severe symptoms than a normal cold.
An extensive flu vaccine programme has also been rolled out by the NHS due to fears of rising cases of respiratory illnesses over the winter.
For Covid-19, double vaccinations against the virus are recommended and over-50s and carers are eligible for a booster shot.
It’s also worth remembering that even if you think you’ve just got a cold if you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus, a new, continuous cough, a fever or a loss of smell/taste, you should get a PCR test.
Doctors have been giving advice on how to avoid the cold and what to do should you be unfortunate enough to get it.
How do I avoid getting the cold?
If you want to avoid the ‘super cold’, you should carry on as you would in order to avoid any virus.
The restrictions placed on people to avoid getting the coronavirus are not really needed for avoiding the cold as we are used to getting it every year, but basic measures such as washing your hands and well ventilated rooms when coming into contact with other people are perhaps advisable.
“We just really need to look after ourselves and be assured that for most people it will last a few days and they will get better,” said Dr Phillipa Kaye on ITV’s This Morning.
Staying as healthy as possible also helps us beat off the virus.
You can do this by improving your diet to include more Vitamin C, as well as indulging in regular exercise and sleeping properly.
Why is there a ‘super cold’?
The cold season has come back around and there are suggestions immunity will be lower due to lockdown restrictions. It may explain why symptoms are being felt more severely.
Dr Kaye explained: “Last year, we were all at home and we were being very good with our restrictions and social distancing. That meant that whatever viruses would be circulating around couldn’t get everywhere.
“Now as we’ve opened up – universities, schools, hospitals and nightclubs are back – they can spread from person to person.
“It might be that for some people, for example children, who didn’t have a lot of exposure in the past, they might be getting last year’s as well as this year’s. If you think about the last time you had a cold it was a bit of a while ago. So we don’t quite remember how miserable they make us feel.”
How do I know it isn’t coronavirus?
There are many different symptoms for Covid-19, but the main ones remain as a continuous cough, fever and a loss of taste.
In August, people were warned to watch out for 21 possible symptoms of the virus, even those who have been double vaccinated.
The safest thing to do is to take a test.
“The absolute best thing that anybody can do this winter is, if you haven’t had your Covid vaccine then please have it. If you’re eligible for the flu vaccine then go get that too.”