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Valley doctor weighs in on differences between coronavirus and flu

(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

PHOENIX – As flu season ramps up in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, concerns have grown when it comes to knowing the difference between the two and when to get tested for each.

Many flu symptoms overlap with those of COVID-19, notably fever, cough, shortness of breath and fatigue.

That could make it confusing if you start to feel sick.

“If people have those symptoms it’s important to discuss them with your health care professional and likely would need to be able to test for both,” Dr. Michael White, chief medical officer at Valleywise Health, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

As the number of new coronavirus cases continue to rise across the nation and in Maricopa County, White encourages the community to remain vigilant about their health and to have a good understanding of symptoms – if any are being experienced.

“It’s often hard to differentiate between allergies, common colds or the symptoms we get from influenza or COVID-19,” White said.

However, he described some ways to better identify if you could be coming down with something stronger such as the flu or coronavirus.

Those include persistent symptoms such as a high fever, muscle aches, or the loss of smell or taste.

“Those are more concerning symptoms that are likely not related to allergies or even the common cold and those would be the time to seek out a time to go get tested,” White said.

Transitioning the seasons is not helping the cause either.

White described the colder weather impacting many people’s seasonal allergies.

In addition, if homeowners are turning on their heaters for the first time this season it can also spark up plenty of unwanted dust in your home that can result in an allergy flare-up.

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