Doctors admit they can’t tell Covid apart from allergies or the common cold anymore – highlighting how mild virus has become
Covid patients are becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish from people suffering from allergies or colds, doctors say.
The most common symptoms of the virus now are sore throat, sneezing or congestion – the same as RSV, asthma or a pollen allergy.
By comparison, in the early stages of the pandemic, Covid had very obvious symptoms, such as a dry cough and loss of sense of smell or taste.
Dr. Erick Eiting, vice chairman of the department of emergency medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City, which has been hit hard during the pandemic, said virtually every Covid patient in the hospital at this point was “very mild.”
Patients with the virus are now most likely to experience sore throats, sneezing or congestion, doctors on the front lines say
Hospital admissions due to Covid-19 are increasing, but little information is available on how serious the disease these people are suffering from
Covid-19 deaths have also risen slightly, although they have reached record levels
Doctor Eiting said NBC News: ‘Just about (every Covid patient) I’ve seen has had very mild symptoms.
“The only way we knew it was Covid was because we happened to be testing them.”
He added: ‘It doesn’t cause the same typical symptoms we saw before. It’s a lot of congestion, sometimes sneezing, usually a mild sore throat.’
Covid can also cause fever, headache, fatigue and coughing – but these are becoming less common.
Dr. Michael Daignault, an emergency physician in California, added, “Especially since July, when this recent mini-surge began, younger people with upper respiratory symptoms…go home with supportive care 99 percent of the time.”
By upper respiratory symptoms he meant coughing, runny noses, sore throat, fever and chills.
Doctors say Covid has now become much milder because now almost every American has immunity to it from vaccination or previous infections.
New variants have also emerged, which appear to have made the virus more contagious but less deadly.
Official data shows Covid hospital admissions are rising across the country, after rising by almost nine per cent in the last week to September 2. A total of 18,800 people are now admitted with Covid every week – which equates to 2,700 per day.
But they are rising from record lows and deaths remain low.
In the past week to August 26, there were 860 Covid deaths across America, an increase of about 4.5 percent in a week.
There are no signs yet of a surge in flu, although the CDC warns of a surge later this year
There are warning signs that RSV infections are now starting to increase
Indicators suggest that RSV infections are also starting to increase, although there are no signs yet of an increase in flu cases.
It comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that a tripledemic of Covid, flu and RSV could hit the US this winter.
In a statement, they said flu activity – while currently low – is “likely to increase in the fall and winter.”
And for the first time, people can get vaccinated against all three viruses, which public health officials are urging people to do to avoid another tripledemic like last year when hospitals were flooded.
Doctors hope enough people get vaccinated to prevent another “triple epidemic” like last year, when hospitals were overwhelmed by an early flu season, a bout of RSV, the respiratory syncytial virus, and another winter wave of the coronavirus.