A RUNNY nose, sneezing, watery eyes and headaches are all the symptoms of the common cold and much more aggressive flu.
The thing that sets the two apart is the exhaustion, aches and longer length of the flu.
As winter and the sick season approach, there are five tips health professionals are promoting.
Warwick Hospital infection control practitioner Robyn Cameron said hygiene was important.
"Because we carry so many germs on our hands, hand hygiene is the most important defence we have," she said.
"It doesn't matter how fit or healthy you are, you can still catch influenza and, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, annual vaccination against the flu can help defend against it."
John Duggan Chemist pharmacy manager and naturopath Matthew Date said when the solo battle against the virus became too much, there were over-the-counter options available.
"We look at all the symptoms and usually recommend cold and flu medication, cough treatment depends whether the person has a dry or phlegmy one and a range of throat lozenges are also available," he said.
"As a naturopath I strongly believe in the effectiveness of vitamins and herbs like echinacea, vitamin C and garlic.
"It is well known that a high dose of vitamin C will shorten the duration of a viral cold or flu."
Both health professionals believe in the power of eating right, getting enough sleep and rest so your body can heal, and drinking lots of water.
"After getting enough rest, my number two comfort remedy is honey and lemon tea to sooth the throat and mum's chicken soup," Mr Date said.
"However, if you become concerned enough for your health you should seek medical treatment," Ms Cameron said.
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