Symptom Scare: Do I Have the Flu or Ebola?

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DALLAS -- Ahhh, Fall. Cooler temps, pumpkin-flavored everything... and the flu!

"As far as the flu, we have anywhere up to 500,00 to 700,000 people get infected with the flu and deaths can range from as low as 3,000 to 53,000 deaths every year," said Dr. Christopher Perkins, Chief Medical Director for Dallas County Health and Human Services.

Whoa! Now do we have your attention?

Turns out, last year in Dallas County we had 58 flu related deaths. That's a big number.  But compared to the one death from Ebola, it seems the flu is the virus we should watch out for.

Since the symptoms for Ebola and the flu are similar, it makes you wonder -- will people go running to the ER crying Ebola?

"It can be confusing, unfortunately, that we've had this heightened awareness of Ebola based on what has happened here in Dallas County. But the way these two conditions are transmitted are totally different," said Dr. Perkins.

If you haven't been to the hot zone or been exposed to someone with Ebola, Dr. Perkins says chances are you have the flu.

"If you have symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, fatigue you should think flu first."

Thanks, Doc! If we come down with a fever, we'll keep that in mind.

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