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How to Know if You've Got the Flu

Is it a cold or the flu or just a nasty virus? Here's a list of symptoms to help identify what's ailing you.

As Patch reported late this week, the flu epidemic is official and flu shots got scarce quick once the word was out.

Those who have had the flu know what it means, but for the lucky few who have so far escaped its wrath local health officials are offering up insight on how to identify the symptons.

According to Daniel Murphy, MD, chairman of emergency medicine at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses that can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.

The flu is different from a cold and usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

* It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center officials said they are seeing a significant increase in patients who present with influenza-like illnesses compared to last season. The hospital's staff has also been affected despite a high vaccination rate, said Murphy.

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