SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Most people who have a cough, sore throat or runny nose this holiday season will want to know: is it COVID, the flu, or the common cold?

With the cold and flu season accelerating and the omicron variant quickly spreading across the country, it can be difficult to tell the three apart.

“I think if in doubt, go for a COVID test. There is a lot of home testing now. If your home test is positive, you have it, ”said Dr. Ian Kahane, doctor of internal medicine at Complete Care in Bradenton, Florida. “If it is negative there are a lot of user operator errors so I always tell people if you are really suspicious you should do a couple of tests or see a doctor or other healthcare professional. who can do a suitable test on you. ”

There are overlapping symptoms between each illness, which is why doctors don’t want people who feel sick to self-diagnose. Instead, they want people with symptoms to be tested.

Common cold symptoms include:

  • sore throat
  • cough
  • congestion
  • runny nose / mouth
  • slow onset of symptoms

Common flu symptoms include:

  • fever
  • tired
  • cough
  • headache
  • runny nose / mouth
  • aches
  • rapid onset of symptoms

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • headache
  • fever
  • sore throat
  • aches
  • loss of taste and smell (greatest differentiator)

Epidemiologist Michael Drennon, of the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County, said it’s important to know what is making you sick, especially given the rapid spread in the community of the highly contagious variant of the disease. ‘omicron.

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said recently that almost everyone infected with the omicron variant in the United States so far has been only mildly ill.

Common symptoms of omicron include:

  • runny nose
  • congestion
  • cough
  • tired

According to the CDC, “All previous variants cause similar COVID-19 symptoms, while some variants, such as alpha and delta, “can cause more serious illness and death.”

“We encourage anyone who, because we have so much COVID right now and it’s something that really concerns us, to definitely go and get tested, whether or not, to go to the pharmacy and take a quick test or go to one of the test sites and get tested. Knowing what you have is very important, ”Drennon said.

Drennon also said it’s important for people with symptoms to know when to seek help.

“You don’t have to wait to take a test to do it. If you feel that something is wrong, seeking immediate medical attention is the right thing to do. Don’t blow it, don’t wait whether or not it’s a cold, whether or not it’s the flu or whether or not it’s COVID, whatever, ”Drennon said. “Any of these can seriously affect different people, so if someone thinks they have severe symptoms, difficulty breathing, severe body aches, severe fever that you can’t control, see a doctor. ”

Scientists say omicron spreads even more easily than other strains of coronavirus, including delta, and is expected to become dominant in the United States by early next year. Early studies suggest that those vaccinated will need a booster to have the best chance of preventing an omicron infection, but even without the extra dose, the vaccination should still offer strong protection against serious illness and death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

`)); // Facebook script embedding (function (d, s, id) {var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName (s)[0]; if (d.getElementById (id)) return; js = d.createElement (s); js.id = identifier; js.src = “https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.12&appId=166116077300962&autoLogAppEvents=1″; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore (js, fjs); } (document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); // Integration of the Twitter script (function (d, s, id) {var js, tjs = d.getElementsByTagName (s)[0]; if (d.getElementById (id)) return; js = d.createElement (s); js.id = identifier; js.setAttribute (‘async’, ”); js.src = “https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”; tjs.parentNode.insertBefore (js, tjs); } (document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-js’)); } // Simplify some iframe stuff var iframes = $ (‘iframe’); iframes .filter (‘.responsive’) .each (function (_, frame) {// 16×9 responsive ratio iframes var $ frame = $ (frame); $ (frame) .css ({position: ‘absolute’, top: 0, left: 0, right: 0, width: ‘100%’, height: ‘100%’,}). Parent (). AddClass (‘wood-responsive-container wood-responsive-container-16×9’);} ); var lazyFrames = iframes .filter (‘[data-lazy-src]’); function woodMakeLazyFrame (selector) {var observer; var options = {root: null, rootMargin: ‘0px’, threshold: 0,}; function handler (entries, observer) {entries.forEach (function (entry) {var ioR = entry.intersectionRatio; if (ioR> 0) {entry.target.src = entry.target.dataset.lazySrc; observer.unobserve ( entry .target);}}); } observer = new IntersectionObserver (manager, options); observe.observ (selector); } lazyFrames.each ((_, frame) => woodMakeLazyFrame (frame)); }); } (jQuery))


Source link