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Boots Pharmacist shares advice on telling the difference between flu, common colds and COVID-19

17 September 2020
Feature Healthcare

Boots Pharmacist Janky Raja shares her advice on helping to tell the difference between the flu, the common cold, and COVID-19 as we head into the winter months.


“Flu, the common cold and coronavirus (COVID-19) are all illnesses caused by a viral infection of the respiratory system so it is not surprising that they share many common symptoms and can be difficult to tell apart.

“The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to your sense of taste or smell.  If you have any of these symptoms, get a test as soon as possible and stay at home until you get the result.  If you have other symptoms that you are not sure about and want to find out what to do, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service (or local equivalent) for more advice.”

If you think you may have symptoms of coronavirus, you and anyone you live with must self-isolate until you get tested and receive a negative result. This also applies to anyone in your support bubble (where someone who lives alone - or just with their children - can meet people from one other household).

You’ll need to be tested in the first five days of having symptoms. Book a visit to a test site or order a home test kit if you cannot get to a site.


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Boots is the UK’s leading health and beauty retailer with over 52,000 team members and around 1,900 stores, ranging from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.*

Boots serves its customers and patients for life as the leading provider of healthcare on the high street and the UK’s number one beauty destination. It offers an unrivalled depth and breadth of products, which incorporates its extensive own brand range and innovative portfolio of brands, including No7, the UK’s No1 skincare brand, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle Beauty and Sleek MakeUP.

2024 marks Boots’ 175th anniversary year. Founder John Boot opened a herbalist store in Nottingham in 1849 to offer an affordable alternative to traditional medicines. His son Jesse expanded the business to become a modern retailer and the biggest chemist in Britain. Throughout its history, Boots has listened, learned and innovated, and it continues to challenge itself to improve its products and services every day.

Boots is part of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which is a global leader in pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing retail.  More company information is available on

*Figures accurate as of 31 May 2024