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In Singapore where the weather is consistently warm and humid, it is easy to underestimate the impact of cold and flu. However, these common viral illnesses can strike and disrupt your daily life. Understanding the difference between a cold and flu (symptoms and treatment) is crucial to manage these illnesses effectively. In this article, we will explore their key differences and share how Panadol can help to provide relief.

Symptoms Cold Flu
Onset Gradual Abrupt
Fever Rare Usual
Aches Slight Usual
Chills Uncommon Fairly Common
Fatigue and weakness Sometimes Usual
Sneezing Common Sometimes
Chest discomfort, cough Mild to moderate Common
Stuffy nose Common Sometimes
Sore throat Common Sometimes
Headache Rare Common

Source: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention

Flu Symptoms

The flu, short for influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Common symptoms of the flu include:

1. Fever: High fever, often above 38°C (100.4°F), is a hallmark of the flu. In Singapore where temperatures are usually warm, a sudden spike in body temperature can be particularly concerning.

2. Chills and Sweating: Flu sufferers may experience intense chills followed by profuse sweating, making them feel extremely uncomfortable.

3. Muscle and Joint Aches: Widespread muscle and joint pain are common with the flu, leading to a feeling of overall fatigue and malaise.

4. Fatigue: The flu can cause severe tiredness, making it challenging to carry out daily tasks.

5. Cough: A persistent, dry cough is another typical flu symptom that can be especially bothersome in the humid climate like Singapore.

6. Sore Throat: A sore throat is often present in flu cases, making it painful to swallow.

7. Headache: Flu-related headaches can be severe and persistent, adding to the discomfort.

Cold Symptoms

While colds are less severe than the flu, they are still quite common and can be quite disruptive. Cold symptoms typically include:

1. Runny or Stuffy Nose: One of the most common cold symptoms is nasal congestion, which can make breathing difficult.

2. Sneezing: Frequent sneezing is a tell-tale sign of a cold, and it can be particularly irritating in a warm and humid climate.

3. Sore Throat: A sore throat is also common with colds and can range from mild to moderate in severity.

4. Coughing: Colds often come with a persistent cough, which may produce mucus or phlegm.

5. Mild Fatigue: Unlike the severe fatigue associated with the flu, cold-related fatigue is usually milder and allows for a more active daily routine.

6. Low-Grade Fever: Some colds may cause slight increase in body temperature, but it is not as common as with the flu.

Treatment Options

Regardless of whether you are dealing with a cold or flu, it is important to seek appropriate treatment to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications.

One over-the-counter cold and flu relief brand in Singapore is Panadol.

Panadol offers a range of products designed to address the symptoms of colds and flu, including:

  • Panadol Cough & Cold: This medication provides non-drowsy relief of 8 cold and flu symptoms, including fever, body aches, and cough in 1 dose[1].

[1] Individual response may vary; always read and follow the label.

  • Panadol Cold Relief PE: Non-drowsy, helps alleviate fever, blocked nose and body aches so that you can get well fast.

In Singapore, Panadol products are readily available at supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies like Watsons, making them a convenient choice for relieving cold and flu symptoms.

In the dynamic and fast-paced environment of Singapore, falling ill with a cold or the flu can disrupt your daily life. Recognizing the symptoms and understanding the difference between these two illnesses is essential for proper treatment and a quicker recovery. Panadol offers a range of trusted products to help you manage the symptoms of colds and flu effectively, ensuring you can get back to your lifestyles as soon as possible. Remember to consult a healthcare professional for guidance on the best treatment options for your specific condition.


Ministry of Health. (n.d.). Influenza. Ministry of Health.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2023, May 24). Common cold. Mayo Clinic.

WebMD. (2022, November 30). Flu or Cold? Know the Differences. WebMD.


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