DETROIT (WWJ) – Tis the time of year when lots of people get sick.

So how do you know if it’s the flu or the common cold?

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It’s cold and flu season which means lots of germs are going around. Since both the cold and the flu are caused by viruses, you often get some of the same symptoms reports WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites.

But Beaumont hospital pediatric emergency physician Kelly Lavasser says there’s a way to set them apart.

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“Common cold may be fever, cough, runny nose. But the flu – you feel very tired and lots of muscle aches, that’s the big difference for what I see,” said Lavasser.

To prevent the spread of germs, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and wash your hands often.

Dr. Lavasser says the best way to prevent the flu is prevention.

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“Anyone older than six months of age can get a flu vaccine. Please get everyone in your family vaccinated.