Summer cold or COVID-19? Why you should get tested anyways

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 9:58 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As the capital area opens and restrictions loosen, doctors are finding the return of colds and other illnesses that nearly disappeared or largely decreased during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would say with that regard, I’ve seen more of a return to normal rather than some kind of surge of non-COVID upper respiratory illnesses,” said Dr. Jacob Wood, a Family Medicine Physician Baton Rouge General.

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Wood said he’s noticing more people coming into the office with common cold symptoms. This is something health care providers used to see all the time before a year of quarantining and mask-wearing.

“I think there is to some degree now that people are letting their guards down and we’re having to interact with kids more directly more regularly, masks are going away slowly,” said Wood. “I do think that we’re seeing a reintroduction of some of the common viral illnesses back in and around the community.”

He said summer cold symptoms include a cough, congestion, chest tightness and a sore throat. Many of these align with the symptoms of COVID.

Wood said we shouldn’t treat a cold by just taking over-the-counter medication right now. You should go in and get tested for COVID-19 to be sure you’re not carrying the virus.

If you have more questions on symptoms or want to find a vaccination site near you, click here.

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