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Cold, flu or something else and how to tell the difference

Symptoms of the flu can mild or severe and sometimes it is hard to determine whether to let a sickness run its course or if it's time to see a doctor

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) - More than 20 people in Ohio alone have died from flu-related illness in what being called one of the worst flu seasons in a decade.

Symptoms of the flu can mild or severe and sometimes it is hard to determine whether to let a sickness run its course or if it's time to see a doctor. However, there are a few deciding factors when it comes to determining if it's the flu or a cold.

Dr. Mike Sevilla, with the Family Practice Center of Salem, said fever, chills and a headache could mean more than just a cold. He said timing is a big factor, too.

"If it is a cold, there is a lot of sneezing and coughing and it comes on real gradual. If it's the real flu, it ends up starting very quickly," Sevilla said.

Sevilla said if you have a fever and muscle aches, it's time to see a doctor.

Even though the flu vaccine is about 40 to 60 percent effective right now, even that much protection is better than nothing. Sevilla said the flu season this year is running long and people should still get vaccinated.

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