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Which is causing my symptoms: cold, flu, COVID-19 or allergies?

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There are many common symptoms of colds, flu, COVID-19, and allergies.But there is also a way to distinguish them, he said. Dr. Dylan Timberlake, Chippewa Falls Prevea Health Allergist Immunologist.

Allergies, colds and COVID-19 symptoms are all predominantly nasal symptoms, Timberlake said. A runny nose or stuffy nose is common, and some of its mucus can flow into the throat and cause a cough. In addition, itching and watery eyes are not usually seen with influenza or COVID-19, as is the case with allergies.

“Really allergic, you’re talking about nose and eye symptoms, and you shouldn’t see much outside those symptoms,” Timberlake said.

According to Timberlake, this allergic season was particularly bad for pollen from weeds such as ragweed. Pollen numbers usually begin to decrease with the first hard frost.

He said most people with allergies have suffered from them in the last few years, so if allergies are typical for you at this time of the year, you are developing them again There is a possibility.

And it is important to point out that people who did not have grown-up environmental allergies can develop them in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. It is not very common to see people in their 50s and 60s who have not previously developed allergies.

But what about colds, flu, and COVID-19?

There are symptoms of COVID-19 and colds that are not usually associated with seasonal allergies such as fever, nausea, and vomiting.

Episodes of diarrhea can be another clue. cold Does not cause diarrhea According to the Mayo Clinic Health System, Although it can occur with COVID-19.

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But Timberlake said it’s best to be careful when trying to understand what’s afflicting you and assume it’s a viral infection until it proves otherwise. rice field.

“If you have a new runny nose, new congestion, or any of these symptoms, it’s probably best to go ahead and take that COVID test, at least at the beginning of these symptoms. To make sure we aren’t dealing with it. “

According to Timberlake, the flu is expected to be particularly flu this year. Compared to last season..Wisconsin influenza cases Minimal so far this seasonAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Many precautions we have taken from COVID have actually seen a reduction in all respiratory viruses, including influenza,” he said.

Influenza is difficult to distinguish from COVID-19 because it has many of the same symptoms, including fever, chills, muscle aches, runny nose, stuffy nose, and cough.

Prevea Health Symptom Checker for adult When Children Identify subtle differences between influenza and COVID-19. In particular, COVID-19 causes loss of taste and odor, and shortness of breath is rare for influenza patients.

In addition, influenza develops suddenly 1 to 4 days after exposure, while COVID-19 usually develops 5 days later.

According to Timberlake, there aren’t many cases of influenza in the community right now, but we expect medical facilities to test for different viruses.

“There are many organizations that I believe will switch to doing COVID and flu testing together when a patient comes in,” he said.

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