Common Cold or Covid-19?

Some doctors are starting to see more covid patients with symptoms that resemble that of a common cold. Particularly in areas where the delta variant is present.

Posted: Jul 8, 2021 1:20 PM

Lafayette - Some doctors are starting to see more covid patients with symptoms that resemble that of a common cold. Particularly in areas where the delta variant is present.

Early on in the pandemic, dominant covid symptoms were things like loss of smell and taste. Now, some doctors are noticing patients coming in with things like a runny nose and congestion.

Two years ago most of us would attribute these symptoms to that of a common cold. Now, it could now be covid-19 according to some doctors who have treated covid patients with cold like symptoms. For one vaccinated Lafayette resident she’s being cautious.

"Err on the side of caution. It’s always good to be careful and be cautious. However, I am vaccinated so I’m not super stressed out about it" said Danielle Templet.

It’s not clear why common cold symptoms are increasingly reported in covid-19 cases, some health experts suspect it could be due to the more contagious delta variant. But while those who are vaccinated have less to worry about, doctors says you should still be weary of those around you.

"If you have been vaccinated and you get covid symptoms to make sure you are not a carrier and god forbid transmit covid to some of your friends or family or relatives who might not yet themselves be vaccinated yet," said Senior Interim Medical Director for Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Louisiana Dr. Lawrence Simon.

Templet says she currently has a cold and will wear a mask while she is sick for the safety of those around her.

"Two years ago, I wouldn’t have questioned if I had this really bad virus you know? I would have said ‘oh it’s just the allergies or like a cold," Templet said. "I’m not super freaked out about it but I’m going to err on the side of caution, wear my mask and just let it play out."

While health experts try to figure out the cause of the shift in covid-19 symptoms, doctors says to simply get tested if you develop symptoms like a cough, runny nose or congestion.

"You can’t assume in 2021 that it’s a standard garden variety common cold," said Simon.

Now that most older adults have received the covid-19 vaccine, health experts say new cases are skewing towards younger, mostly unvaccinated adults. A demographic that has generally been spared the worst of covid-19.

The CDC has long included classic common cold symptoms such as runny nose and congestion on its list of potential covid-19 symptoms. There is currently no immediate plan to change symptom guidance.

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