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People feel ‘like they’ve been beaten up’ with ‘worst lurgy ever’


Nov 28, 2023

There are many things you can do at home to help ease symptoms if you have come down with a bug this winter.

The ECHO previously reported that people across Merseyside and beyond are coming down with a bug that "feels like covid but isn't", with many people reporting the illness is difficult to shift. Social media is full of people sharing their misery over the illness.

On X, formerly Twitter, Sara said: "Feel awful, four negative covid tests but can't shift this bug". Chris said: "Tested negative twice but feel like I've been beaten up".

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According to the NHS, cold and flu symptoms are similar, but flu tends to be more severe. You can often treat a cold without seeing a GP and you should begin to feel better in about one to two weeks. Reading, Basingstoke, Berkshire

You should see a GP if your symptoms suddenly get worse, your temperature is very high, you develop chest pains or you have a long-term health condition or a weakened immune system.

Those with the flu are advised to seek medical support if they are 65 or over, are pregnant, have a long-term medical condition or weakened immune system or symptoms persist after seven days.

Cold symptoms come on gradually

  • 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

When it comes to treating a cold, you can help yourself by getting plenty of rest and sleep, drinking plenty of water and gargling salt water to ease a sore throat. GPs do not recommend antibiotics for colds because they will not relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.

Symptoms of the flu

The flu however, affects more than just your nose and throat and makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal.

  • 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

Again, advice includes rest and sleep, plenty of fluids, staying warm and taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to help lower your temperature and ease aches and pains. Anyone with a cold or flu can also seek treatment from a pharmacist.

Covid symptoms

  • a high temperature or shivering – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • an aching body
  • a headache
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick

The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.

Preventing illness

The NHS advises you to wash your hands with warm, soapy water, avoid sharing items like towels and cups with someone who is unwell and avoid touching your eyes and nose. You can also keep active and get the flu vaccine if you are eligible.

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