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Doctors are seeing patients with COVID-19 symptoms — but it’s not COVID-19

Doctors explain why there are more people with COVID-19 symptoms ... even if it’s not the novel coronavirus.

Doctors explain why there are more people with COVID-19 symptoms ... even if it’s not the novel coronavirus.
Traveling nurse Jane Mwambu, of Texas, returns an IV stand while working at a field hospital set up to handle a surge of COVID-19 patients, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Cranston, R.I.
Associated Press

Doctors in Texas reported seeing a number of patients who had COVID-19 symptoms — but those patients did not have COVID-19.

Per KBTX, doctors said there has been an increase in upper and lower respiratory illnesses in recent weeks as mask mandates have lifted and restrictions have been eased in businesses and retail locations.

  • “I would just hope that everyone would, if you are feeling sick, that you stay home or see a physician and go make sure that you aren’t contagious,” said one woman, Amy Snidow, who started feeling sick before testing negative for COVID-19, according to KBTX.
  • “(The doctor) said that the last few weeks he’s seen an influx of people coming in with upper respiratory symptoms, sore throat, a lot of similar symptoms to COVID but not,” Snidow said, per KBTX.

COVID-19 vs. colds

Doctors said they weren’t surprised by this happening, either.

  • “We may have other viruses that are more prevalent because we skipped a year of having those go through the community,” said Dr. Lon Young, the chief medical officer for CapRock Health System, according to KBTX.

Back in April 2020, National Jewish Health released a breakdown of the differences between colds, influenza and COVID-19, showing some similar symptoms and some slight differences.

There are also some cases where people have been feeling allergy symptoms, which are also close to COVID-19. Dr. Lisa Lockerd Maragakis, senior director of infection prevention at the Johns Hopkins Health Systems in Baltimore, Maryland, said back in fall 2020 that you can’t escape seasonal illnesses.

  • “Because some coronavirus symptoms are similar to those of bronchitis, the common cold, the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), this year it is likely that a test will be necessary to tell the difference,” she wrote.

In Utah, cases of the respiratory syncytial virus and the flu are down because of the coronavirus pandemic, as the Deseret News reported. A lot of this has been attributed to face masks and pandemic health measures.