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Allergies, COVID, or something else?

Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 8:10 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - BA.2, the highly contagious Omicron subvariant, is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States and it’s causing some confusion for allergy sufferers and those fighting flu.

How do you know the difference?

It can be very confusing and somewhat scary because many of the symptoms associated with COVID overlap with flu, the common cold, and allergies.

That green or yellowish coating on your car and other outdoor surfaces are telltale signs we’re in allergy season.

Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health said itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose are typically allergy symptoms, although you may have a cough and feel a bit run down.

But if you’re feeling especially fatigued, have body aches, a fever, chills, or loss of taste and smell, you’re probably dealing with COVID, or maybe the flu.

The CDC said about 55% of all new COVID-19 infections last week were caused by the BA.2 variant.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said less than 2% of cases have been detected in the state, so far.

“The way that we determine that is you take a test from someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and that particular sample is sent off for more analysis, more expensive, more time consuming tests, to determine exactly what type of strain of virus it is that we’re dealing with, and the way that we do that here, and the way it is around much of the rest of the country is, it’s just a few samples here and there that are sent. So, we just have not detected yet. Again, that doesn’t mean it’s not here, but it is not here in Jefferson County…it has not yet been detected in Jefferson County,” Dr. Willeford explained.

The only way to know for sure that you don’t have COVID is to get tested.

You can do that at home, or at your doctor’s office.

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