Cold or Covid?  There is only one way to find out

Do you have a runny nose? There’s only one way to know if it’s a cold or Covid

As the eighth wave of covid continues to grow and temperatures drop, testing is the only way to know if you are infected or just have a cold (illustrative photo taken in Guiyang, China, on September 7).
China News Service/China News Service via Getty Ima As the eighth wave of covid continues to grow and temperatures drop, testing is the only way to know if you are infected or just have a cold (illustrative photo taken in Guiyang, China, on September 7).

China News Service/China News Service via Getty Ima

As the eighth wave of covid continues to grow and temperatures drop, testing is the only way to know if you are infected or just have a cold (illustrative photo taken in Guiyang, China, on September 7).

CORONAVIRUS – A “ resurgence “. In the middle of the week, the executive agreed that the months of calm on the Covid-19 front were behind us. ” The incidence rate exceeds 570 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, with a reproduction rate R of 1.2 “, noted government spokesman Olivier Véran, who also called for the use of a mask in transport.

This can be seen in the statistics published by Santé Publique France. The public body announced on Wednesday, October 12, that it had identified 73,639 cases the previous day, raising the seven-day average to 56,947 cases per day. This means that this eighth wave is drawing a little closer to each of us.

Except that in this month of October, when autumn definitely begins, Covid is not the only virus that spreads. Bronchiolitis makes its appearance on the landscape earlier than expected, the seasonal flu makes its presence felt, not to mention the traditional colds. Many wonder these days what they could have contracted when they start to cough, have a fever, or runny nose. Without rushing into the labs like last year.

Between Omicron and a cold, the symptoms are often similar

A finding that is increasingly true as the population is vaccinated, receives booster doses and gets used to the presence of the virus. Thus, as recently written by the New York TimesCiting virologist Peter Chin-Hong of the University of California, with BA.5, the most circulating Omicron subvariant this fall, people with Sars-CoV-2 suffer less severe symptoms than at the time of the first waves.

As with the flu or a cold, sufferers now often experience generalized fatigue, shortness of breath, cough and fever. But much less than before a loss of taste or smell, symptoms that, in 2020 and 2021, quite clearly indicated a Sars-CoV-2 infection.

Result: the only way to fix it is to get tested, with RT-PCR being the most convincing.

Isolation, positive test and sick leave

As a reminder, in the event of symptoms reminiscent of Covid, the French health authorities invite people to carry out a screening test and isolate themselves, while reinforcing barrier gestures (wearing a mask, teleworking as far as possible , limitation of social interactions…).

And if you have only resorted to a self-test that has been positive, the Ministry of Health advises you to remain isolated while you confirm it in the pharmacy (by means of an antigenic test) or in the laboratory (PCR). The latter being the most effective for detecting Covid, since it is more sensitive, the genetic material being amplified in the laboratory.

Once a person with symptoms tests positive, they are supposed to stay in isolation for seven days, or ten if they are not vaccinated. So, a negative test after five days allows the isolation to be broken earlier (or seven for people without a complete vaccination schedule). By the way, it should be noted that, in case of excessive symptoms or inability to telework, a positive test allows to obtain an online stoppage, thanks to a dedicated service established by the health insurance.

Has Covid become a common cold?

But in the context of normalizing symptoms, can we consider that Sars-CoV-2 has become a common virus, a common cold? The question arises because the world is currently getting used to the presence of Covid, to the point that Joe Biden, for example, speaks of an epidemic. “finish” In the U.S.

On the one hand, and as explained in the columns of HuffPost virologist Bruno Lina, “Anytime you can avoid an infection, even a minor one, it’s better. There is never a short-term advantage to being infected with a pathogen. »

In addition, Dr. Christian Lehmann adds in Release that Covid has killed much more than seasonal flu since the beginning of 2022, and that it causes serious long-term forms that are still little known. “Hearing disorders, attention disorders, intense tiredness, breathing difficulties, general malaise, speech and concentration difficulties…”, the general practitioner cites the long-lasting consequences of a Covid infection that, admittedly, rarely occur, but still deserve Sars-CoV-2 to be treated differently from a simple cold. And therefore to be tested.

See also in The HuffPost:

#runny #nose #cold #Covid

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