Shreveport, LA (KMSS) — The way the flu is going around the Ark-La-Tex, and the severity of the flu, people are afraid of catching anything. But if the coughing does start, how do you know if it's the dreaded flu or just a common cold. Dr. Paul Bracey of Urgent Care of Louisiana says the main tell is the severity of it. The flu will have much worse symptoms than a cold. Aside from that, fever and body aches are generally signs of the flu. A runny nose generally signifies a cold. The flu is generally a much more severe illness, but it does have one thing going in its favor, it is easily preventable with a flu vaccine. This year's vaccine has the H1N1 strain in it; that's the common strain going around the Ark-La-Tex. There isn't a vaccine for the cold. Instead, people have to try to keep germs to a minimum. Coughing into elbow crooks and washing hands are good ways to keep germs at bay. However, it's not fool proof. If a person does end up sick, often times the flu and colds can be treated at home with rest, but people should definitely go to see a physician if they feel like their illness is really bad.