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Ways to tell the difference between the cold and the flu

Dr Chikkala inspects a patient (courtesy:NBC24.com).

LUCAS County, OHIO (WNWO) --Sneezing, coughing, runny, nose and sore throat! All signs that you are sick but is it the cold or the flu?

NBC 24' s Toi Creel spoke with Mercy Health Pediatrician Jane Chikkala to find out some of the differences.

With a cold, Chikkala says patients experience lower temperatures, runny/stuffy noses, and a sore throat. With the flu, patients experiences higher and persistent temperatures. There's also including aches,headaches, sore throat and chills. The symptoms are more severe.

Parents also need to watch for behavior.

"When the fever is gone and they are still not themselves, they're just like moping around," said Chikkala. "Those are signs more indicative of the flu and means parents should take a trip to the hospital. "

Nationwide the center for disease control has seen widespread flu activity, hitting every state but Hawaii.Toledo Lucas County Health Department reports there's been more than 300 flu-related hospitalizations.

Seven of those resulted in death. One of the victims was just 18 months old.

Toledo Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski hasn't seen numbers this bad since the 2013-2014 flu season. Even then, deaths only peaked at 5.

"That numbers is elevated," said Zgodzinski,

Chikkala also says to look out for the most vulnerable, like those over the age of 50 and young children.

"If your child is under two years of age, especially under 6 months of age don't wait."

This year, the CDC predicts pediatric flu deaths could reach a record high .

With flu season not yet over, Health oficials are warning those in Lucas Coutny not to panic, but to stay safe.

"Even those who get the flu shot can still end up getting the disease, do whatever is in your menas to try and prevent it," said Chikkala.


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