Is it a cold or the flu?

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Is it a cold or the flu? A sick elderly man lies in bed

As winter approaches, more and more people start to feel like they’re coming down with “something.” With flu season just around the corner, how do you know if you have the flu or the common cold?

Both have similar symptoms, so it can be hard to tell the difference.

In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.

Your health care provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether or not you have the flu.

If you have been diagnosed with the flu, you should stay home. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about over-the-counter and prescription medications to ease flu symptoms and help you feel better faster.

And remember, the best protection against the flu is the flu vaccine.

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Everybody can do their part to help prevent the spread of germs and protect themselves from the flu. Follow us on Twitter (@FluGov) for a different flu tip each Friday (#FluTips).