Is it the flu or allergies? Not too late to get a flu shot

So, you are blowing through that box of  tissues and the cough drops just aren't cutting it.

 Are you or your children suffering from the flu or allergies?  

Doctors say they are both causing misery right now in our area.

Those allergies could make life rough for weeks, but the flu will knock you on your tail for a few painful days.

Taking your temperature is the key to telling them apart.

That yellow layer of pollen on your car spells misery for many of us.  

Dr. Alix Casler is a pediatrician with Orlando Health.  

She says doctors are seeing many allergy patients right now.

"When your car is yellow or green, it's prime allergy season, so right now it's particularly bad," she said.

Dr. Casler calls typical allergy symptoms the itchy sneezes.

She describes them as, "Itchy eyes, itchy nose and itchy throat. Often especially in children, it's that funny throat clearing. Sounds like something is there, but it's not."

Mix in a cough and clear nasal drainage and now you're feeling crummy.

Pull out the thermometer to make sure you don't have the flu.

She says, "Allergy doesn't cause fever. Illness causes fever and that's the big kind of clincher."

Dr. Casler says the flu came to Florida a little late this year, with most cases popping up in the last six to eight weeks.  

The good news is it has not been a terrible year for the virus compared to previous years, and if you really have the flu, you'll know it.

Dr. Casler adds, "Influenza is sudden onset of high fever - 103ish - body aches, nasal congestion, lots of nasal congestion and cough."

Dr. Casler says the flu shot will not make you sick and getting it every year helps protect babies, pregnant moms and seniors around us because it reduces the number of sick people spreading the virus everywhere.

She says, "This is one of those where I really feel like it's a personal responsibility to get your flu vaccine every year."

Dr. Casler says even though it's almost April, it's not too late to get a flu shot, because in Florida doctors can see flu cases into June and July.  

She says this year's vaccination is an effective blend of the flu strains.

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