"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

COVID or allergies? The commonest symptoms are an identical, in line with doctors

September 18, 2023 – The commonest symptoms of COVID-19 have turn into so mild that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell apart the illness from allergies or the common cold, in line with personal reports from doctors.

Although COVID hospitalizations have continued to rise for months, several doctors said a sore throat followed by congestion has turn into the signature symptom. (In the past, COVID has had telltale signs akin to a dry cough or lack of taste or smell.)

“It's not the same typical symptoms we've seen before. It's a lot of congestion, sometimes sneezing, usually a mild sore throat,” said Erick Eiting, MD, MPH, an emergency physician in New York City NBC News.

These recent symptom reports are consistent with the findings from last winter The study found that sore throat has turn into probably the most common symptom within the omicron subvariants of the virus.

In data updated over the weekend by the CDC In the two-week period ending September 16, the three commonest strains of the virus remained the identical and all belonged to the omicron family: EG.5 continued to top the list with nearly 25% of COVID infections, while FL.1.5.1 moved into second place with nearly 14%. Third place was taken by XBB.1.16 with 10%. A strain called HV.1, also belonging to the XBB lineage, jumped from nearly 5% to over 8%.

The BA.2.86 strain continues to be detected in wastewater within the United States, but a recent update from the CDC posted Friday afternoon said it was still unclear how the heavily mutated version of the virus spreads in comparison with other variants. BA.2.86 caused global concern a number of weeks ago because differences within the structure of the virus could cause it to behave otherwise than previous strains.

The CDC said Friday that it will stop weekly posts about BA.2.86 and as a substitute only provide updates “when significant additional information becomes available.” The strain is so rare that it isn’t even on the most recent tracker list of greater than 25 variants actively causing infections within the United States.

“At this time, BA.2.86 does not appear to be causing or responsible for a rapid increase in infections or hospitalizations in the United States,” the CDC update said.