What you need to know going into flu season

What you need to know going into flu season
Health officials warn of flu season approaching amid pandemic (Source: WTVM)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The beginning of fall means the beginning of flu season and fall allergies.

If your allergies flare up around spring plants, there’s a 75% chance Ragweed pollen triggers your allergies in the fall. Similar to COVID-19, they each have symptoms that involve the nose and mouth area.

“I have not had any fever so I felt fairly certain it was just an allergy, but how can you be sure?,” says Kay Kelley, a Tyler woman who suffers from allergies during the fall time.

Unlike COVID-19, it’s uncommon for allergies to bring on a fever or body pains, but Dr. Ed Dominguez says, “with influenza and COVID… much more challenging.”

According to Dr. Ed, they’re both viral respiratory tract infections that can be severe or fatal -- you could experience muscle aches, pains, fever, cough, shortness of breath with both.

“What is a little bit different between COVID and influenza,” says Dr. Ed, “seems to be the high rate that people with COVID have in alterations with taste and in smell.”

He adds that we’re only 7 months into learning about COVID-19, so without any test results it’s difficult for health officials to agree on terms for telling apart the flu from COVID-19.

“It’s so difficult to distinguish for physicians that we’re testing anybody who comes in with respiratory symptoms,” he said, “we’re not trying to distinguish whether they have one of those three, the first question we’re asking is ‘do you have COVID or not?’ and the only way to do that is by doing a test.”

With your test results, he says your physicians can determine what exactly they’re dealing with and how to treat you. Even in this unusual flu season, just because it might not be COVID-19, influenza is still a viral illness and you should take the necessary precautions.

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