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Can You Tell the Difference Between Cold and Flu Symptoms?

photo(69)WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) -After going to several pharmacies that ran out of the flu shot, the youngest members of the Burger family finally get theirs at West Springfield’s Doctor’s Express.

It’s a good thing they got it on Sunday, because on Monday, 10 year-old Jaelen Burger will be sharing a classroom with some sick kids. “There’s been a lot of people this past week. At least 5 people have been sick. Whenever it comes to be like partners to do work, we don’t want to be partners with them because we don’t want to get the flu,” he smiled.

At this point, protection is really all anyone can think about since the several cities nationwide, including Boston have declared Public Health Emergencies because of it.

How do you know if you even have the flu? Or just a pesky cold? “The flu can often start out very much the same with some congestion and a headache, but the big difference between the flu and a cold is the overwhelming body aches. I tell people it hurts so much it feels like their hair hurts,” said Dr. Naomi Rosenberg.

Dr. Rosenberg says it doesn’t end there. A fever and extreme fatigue are also hints that you might not just have a cold.

As it turns out, some people don’t know the difference between cold and flu symptoms, but either way, you should probably stay home. “I think the flu symptoms are more severe than your basic cold, but I think I’m here for that reason,” Bret Leveille admitted. 5-year-old Eliza Burger admitted she’d rather catch the flu and miss school for a couple of days.

Of course if you haven’t gotten it yet, Dr. Rosenberg recommends frequent hand washing, and taking medicine like Tamiflu within 48 hours of feeling the first symptoms.

Dr. Rosenberg says so far, the flu shot has been 60% effective in preventing the flu, which is about average.

Remember to tune in tomorrow evening starting at 5 for ABC40 Alert: Fighting the Flu. A panel of experts will be here to take your calls and answer your questions regarding the flu, and how to treat it.

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