What’s Going Around: Doctors seeing more allergy-related symptoms

There are some things you need to keep an eye and nose out for beside COVID-19.
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 6:16 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - There’s been more than just COVID-19 related illnesses recently, health professionals say they’ve seen several patients come in with similar symptoms from common viruses and high allergies counts.

It seems like the past year, all we’ve been able to hear about is COVID-19. While it poses a threat, there are other things that can be affecting your health this time of year.

As Dr. Mark Griesemer of Mercy Hospital explains, he’s seen a share of illnesses running through the emergency room.

”I think we’re starting to see a lot of that typical emergency medical traffic,” said Griesemer. ”In the past two to three weeks for us we’ve seen a return to our pre-covid volumes.”

This can be due to several reasons. For instance, emergency rooms typically see an increase in activity from bone and ligament injuries when the weather heats up.

”I think again its people just getting back out into the community and back to previous daily routines,” said Griesemer.

But sometimes you’re symptoms may not always be black and white. Being able to distinguish between allergies, a cold or possibly COVID-19 can be difficult.

”Earlier in May it seemed like we had a gastro-intestinal type of virus with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that went through the community,” Griesemer told me.

Another thing that can bring COVID-like symptoms this time of year is allergies. Dr. Minh-Thu Le is an allergist with CoxHealth and says counts have been high this season.

”We are seeing a lot of allergies right now and I think every year it seems to be worse and worse. But it really just depends on what you’re allergic too,” said Dr. Le.

In large part that’s due to all of the moisture.

”With rain you get a lot of moisture, with moisture you get a lot of mold. So our mold counts have been through the roof,” said Dr. Le.

She says with such high counts more people than usual can be effected.

”Right now there’s a lot of people coming that aren’t allergic to it, but the really high concentrations in the atmosphere have irritated their nasal passages and their lungs. Giving them coughing, wheezing, congestion and people who come in say ‘I’ve never had allergies before I don’t know what’s going on.’ Its the mold that’s probably bothering them,” said Dr. Le.

So how do you know if symptoms can be from allergies, or a cold, or even COVID-19?

”Any of those symptoms would be enough to get COVID-19 tested, especially now that we’re seeing an uptick. Now if you’ve been vaccinated there is a lot less likely chance that you’ve had COVID or you have COVID at this point,” said Dr. Le.

Beyond that, normal self hygiene can go along way.

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