Do you have the flu or just the common cold?

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FLINT (WJRT) (2/6/2018) - Dr. Gjon Dushaj with McLaren Hospital said hand-washing is your best defense.

The Emergency Physician suggests cleaning all common surfaces at your home and workplace, using bleach wipes to help stop the spread of the virus.

"The surfaces is where you're gonna have the virus," he said. "Someone may not even know they're sick, or if they cough or sneeze and they touch your shopping cart, you should be careful when you're touching surfaces. And, if we don't have to shake hands right now for, you know, a few weeks or a few months, you know, whatever you can do to stay away from the germs is better."

On that note, Dr. Dushaj said don't share cups or utensils with people either.

He explained it's possible someone will have the flu, but not experience symptoms for a couple of days.

But when you get those symptoms, he says you'll know it's the flu.

This time of year it's not uncommon for people to have to deal with a cough, congestion, frontal headache and sore throat. But, Dr. Dushaj says the aches all over your body, fever, chills and little bit of nausea set the flu apart from other upper-respiratory illnesses.

So he said, don't panic at the first cough and immediately assume you have the flu.

"Not everyone who comes in here with a fever's got the flu. So you try and see is this the typical flu," he explained. "We can swob you for the flu. We don't have to if you've got classic flu-like symptoms, that's a clinical diagnosis, but we can run a flu swab on you. We can run a flu test, but we also check for dehydration. You know, if you look like you're dehydrated, we can check you, do some blood tests on you, make sure nothing else is going on."

The CDC put out a detailed chart to help you determine if you've got the flu or just a cold. You can take a closer look at the photo attached to this story.

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