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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
The flu has a lot of company this year. There are multiple viruses going around the Charlotte area, making it difficult to tell exactly what type of illness you have.
Dr. Charles Bregier is the medical director of Presbyterian Urgent Care. He said the flu is especially bad this season, but there are many other viruses with similar symptoms.
"There's lots of other viruses out there that cause the flu and cause other flu-like illnesses," said Bregier. "It may not be the flu, but it's still a bad cold or a bad cough that kids transfer to and from one another."
WBTV reported Thursday that the number of absences at several South Carolina schools was higher than usual. Many students are home sick with flu-like symptoms.
"They're in close quarters. They're touching each other, they're coughing on each other from one desk to the next, so kids are really transmitting it like crazy in the schools," said Bregier.
Charlotte mother of three, Jessica Quinn, said some of her children have flu-like symptoms but likely don't have the flu. Quinn said they have a cough but no fever.
The biggest difference between the common cold and the flu is severity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu tends to be worse and longer lasting. Coughing, aching, and fever symptoms are especially severe compared with a cold.
Bregier said he's seeing 20 to 30 flu cases a day at Presbyterian Urgent Care, along with other, similar viruses.
He recommends getting a flu shot to prevent many strains of the flu virus and says to stay home if you think you have the flu.