From a runny nose to an itchy sore throat and blocked sinuses, people nurse a cough or cold for two and half years of their lives.

But not all the advice you get is right. Here are the five biggest cold and flu myths.

Myth 1 - Feed a cold and starve a fever

Whether you have a straightforward common cold or something more extreme, you need to ensure you have plenty of nutrients in whatever form is manageable – chicken or vegetable soup are soothing and easily digestible.

Myth 2 - Going out with wet hair will give you a cold

No matter what your nan told you, the only thing that can cause a cold or flu is a cold or flu virus - no-one succumbs by being caught in a downpour or going out without a coat on a chilly day.

However, if you are already carrying the virus, exposing yourself to extreme environmental conditions may speed up the development of symptoms.

Myth 3 - Antibiotics can kill the germs that cause colds and flu

Antibiotics don’t treat flu. Treating a cold or flu with antibiotics is like using nose drops to treat a hangnail.

That's because antibiotics kill bacteria, and colds and flu are caused by viruses, a class of germ that isn’t anything like bacteria and cannot be treated with antibiotics.

Myth 4 - Kissing passes on a cold

Common cold viruses move around via large particles expelled at close range by coughs and sneezes, and by contaminated fingers that pass the virus to the nose and eye – not by kissing, so pucker up!

Myth 5 - You can catch the flu from a flu shot

The flu and swine flu shots are made from inactivated (killed) viruses. And it's impossible to catch an illness from a dead virus.

You may wonder about that, though, if your child has any of the possible side effects of the shot - a low-grade fever, aches, soreness, swelling, or redness where the shot was given.

These symptoms may be uncomfortable, but they're a reaction to the shot, not signs of infection.