Testing the only way to distinguish between cold and COVID, says BRG doctor

BATON ROUGE – Cold and flu season has begun. This year physicians at Baton Rouge General say they’ll have their hands full. Doctors say that the symptoms for a common cold or allergies are very similar to COVID-19.

“All of the stuff that could be COVID-19, could be a cold,” said Dr. Jacob Wood. “It’s actually very difficult to distinguish those without testing. In fact, it’s really impossible to tell the difference without testing.”

Dr. Wood says the similarity is confusing patients.

“I had a patient who came in last week who gets sick this time of the year, every year. I even checked his record and the first two weeks of October he’s been here every year. He didn’t want to do the COVID-19 test, so I said I know it’s been the same every year but you need to do it and he was positive.”

Though there’s an extra virus out there, Dr. Wood says it’s actually been a slow start to the cold season. 

“We also have the fact that people are social distancing and wearing a mask. Even though the cold season is definitely here, the volume of that is actually not as high as it is this time of the year because of the precautions people are taking this time of year,” said Dr. Wood.

Regardless of the symptoms, Dr. Wood encourages people that feel sick go see a doctor and get tested for the coronavirus. That way, doctors will have a clear idea on how to treat the patient.

“That’s the responsible and smart thing to do, is find out if the symptoms are COVID-19 or not COVID-19. If you have a question in your mind come in and get checked. Some think it’s just allergies and I’ve seen some of those come in and it turned out to be coronavirus,” said Dr. Wood.

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