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COVID Update

As part of our efforts to keep all patients and staff safe, we are no longer accepting walk-ins.

Please call or book online to be seen.


The difference between a flu and a cold

‘Flu (short for influenza) is a common, viral and highly infectious illness, which is most common in winter and early Spring. Influenza spreads into the body through the respiratory tract.

‘Flu is not the same as the common cold. They are caused by a different group of viruses, with ‘flu symptoms usually starting more suddenly, lasting longer, and being more severe.

The symptoms of influenza (‘flu) typically develop within one to three days from the point of becoming infected, and can last for a week or more. Your symptoms may be severe enough that you feel too exhausted and unwell to go about your usual daily activities. In some cases, even after the infection has improved, you may have lingering symptoms such as a cough, or feelings of fatigue.

Main symptoms

Flu comes with a range of symptoms which can include any of the following:

  • sudden fever, with body temperature of 38C (100.4F) or higher
  • feelings of weakness and fatigue
  • headache
  • nasal congestion or runny nose
  • sore throat
  • dry, chesty cough
  • chills
  • muscle aches
  • pain in limbs or joints
  • abdominal pain, stomach ache
  • diarrhoea
  • nausea, vomiting
  • sneezing
  • low or loss of appetite
  • insomnia or difficulty sleeping


‘Flu is a highly contagious disease, and is easily spread by the coughs and sneezes of infected people. You can also get it from kissing, or from touching anything that has been recently touched by someone who has the ‘flu (a doorhandle, television remote, or keyboard, for example). It is possible to catch the ‘flu at any time of year, with some seasonal fluctuations (it’s most common in the winter time).

What to do next

Come and see us if you are feeling unwell. We can help you figure out the best course of treatment for influenza and can offer advice about vaccination if necessary. Give us a call or use our online booking system to make an appointment.

  • 02073231023Harley St Area
  • 02071010355City of London


Do I have the ‘flu or a cold?

‘Flus and colds sometimes present with quite similar symptoms. It may be difficult to know which condition you have. The main difference is that ’flu symptoms develop quickly, tend to include fever and body/muscle aches, and are usually severe enough that you will likely need to stay in bed. Cold symptoms are milder and develop more gradually.

What is the ‘flu vaccination?

‘Flu vaccination, also known as the ‘flu jab’, protect patients from flu and its complications. Vaccination is a powerful tool in prevention and can reduce the time of illness. Talk to our team to book your annual flu jab.

Does the flu jab work?

Studies have shown that it does help prevent you from catching the ‘flu, and that those who get the ‘flu after having the vaccination will not have symptoms with the same severity as those who do not. The vaccine does not stop all viruses, and its level of protection varies depending on who is taking it.

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Please note that Walk-in Clinic is a private medical centre and not an NHS service.
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