Colds and flu are caused by several different strains of the influenza virus.
- Flu vaccines are available, but it is impossible to inoculate individuals against the ever mutating strains of the influenza virus.
- Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, throat and bronchial tubes causes the typical cold and flu symptoms like sore throat, blocked and runny nose, headache, coughing and sneezing and general feelings of lethargy.
- The virus spreads through coughing and sneezing.
- Symptoms usually last about a week.
- Although the disease is usually mild, it can be serious in young babies and individuals with pre-existing respiratory disease.