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Dr. Meeta Khan wears a face mask as she examines a respiratory patient at the Rush University Hospital emergency department, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in Chicago. Flu season in the U.S. has hit early and, in some places, hard.

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How to tell a cold from the flu

The common cold and flu are caused by different viruses but can have some similar symptoms, making them tough to tell apart. In general, the flu is worse and symptoms are more intense.

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