Local Doctors See Rise In Viruses Typically Seen In Fall, Winter Months

Thursday, March 25th 2021, 5:21 pm
By: Erica Rankin

Though community spread of COVID-19 is still happening, local doctors have started to see people come in with allergies and other viruses.

Doctors said this has become more prominent in the last month or two, and it can be hard to tell if it’s COVID-19, another virus, or allergies.

“How in the world do you discern what is a cold or rhinovirus versus coronavirus versus allergy symptoms?” said Dr. Craig Quattlebaum with Mercy Hospital. “It is tough because there is a ton of overlap in those symptoms. It’s hard for us and it’s hard for the everyday person to figure out what is what.”

On top of viruses popping up, allergy season is definitely here in Oklahoma.

“The cedar is ripe the flowers are starting to bloom and with all of that comes allergy problems,” said Dr. Rachel Franklin with OU Health.

Right now, doctors like Franklin and Quattlebaum said they are starting to see other viruses that normally show up in the fall and winter pop up.

There are some differences between all of these illnesses. Like if you have itchy or watery eyes, coupled with sneezing, it is most likely allergies.

But, it can be harder to find the difference between COVID-19 and another virus because the symptoms are all very similar.

“The fever,” Quattlebaum said. “The chills, body aches, the global fatigue.”

Doctors suggest if you are feeling symptoms consistent with COVID-19, like cough or shortness of breath, its better to be safe and go ahead and get tested.