How do you know if you have the flu?

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s that time of year. You you seem to run into someone at every turn that is either sick, just got over being sick or feels like they are getting sick!

With so much talk about the flu virus and how widespread it is, many  jump to conclusions thinking they have it because there is some symptom overlap. Everything from the flu virus, to a stomach bug and common cold do have their own unique symptoms.

Compare flu symptoms to that of a common cold and stomach bug

When you get the flu, you are likely to experience aches, chills, a headache, fever, weakness and in some cases congestion of the chest/nose. In the case of Influenza B, which has been diagnosed more this flu season, you can experience vomiting. That can make it hard to distinguish between a stomach virus – especially if it’s accompanied by a fever. Typically, you won’t experience chills or aches with a stomach bug, but you will likely have a stomach pain or cramps, nausea and diarrhea.

Colds can be brutal or a sniffle. When they are strong, you definitely question if it’s the flu. With a flu, you aren’t as likely to be congested like you are with a cold. With a cold you are likely to experience a runny nose, sore throat, cough and sneezing.

It is not too late to get a flu shot. If you’re aiming to avoid being sick altogether, it’s best to keep a distance from your friends, family and coworkers who are feeling under the weather. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water and keep hand sanitizer/disinfectant wipes handy.

If you’re feeling sick, don’t be the hero! For you, it might be a few days of feeling lousy when for someone else it could mean a hospital stay. It’s best to recover at home and return to work and daily life when you are feeling 100%!

RELATED: ‘It just hit me so hard’: Spokane family shares warning as they recover from flu