By Christyn Allen
ERIE, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Seasonal allergies or COVID-19 symptoms? That’s the big question a lot of us are asking ourselves as the pollen comes out and COVID cases tick up.
Those of us who suffer every spring can predict when our symptoms will start. “Influenza, the common cold, RSV, all are seasonal. They have predictable patterns we tend to see when its endemic, so when there’s not any surprises or new strains or anything,” said Epidemiologist, Dr. Becky Dawson.
COVID-19 surges are still more sporadic. “COVID-19 is not seasonal right now. We’re seeing ebbs and flows that align with big gathering events,” she said.
Start of the summer holidays are on the horizon, so how do you distinguish if your symptoms are the result of ragweed and pollen or due to COVID-19?
Dr. Becky says there’s no way to completely rule out the virus, unless you get tested. “Really it’s impossible to tell just by how you’re feeling. You really need that test to confirm,” she said.
As areas reaches a high level of community spread once again, it’s important to stop symptomatic spread if we can. “This is the new normal. This is how we move forward, because we can’t control asymptomatic spread, but we can stop chains of transmission when they are visible to us,” she said.
Third rounds of free COVID-19 tests are available through the federal government. Just visit COVID.gov/tests.