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‘More people are together now:’ Doctors see increase in common cold, other viruses

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As mask mandates are lifted and people get back to in-person gatherings, health experts are seeing a rise in common illnesses like colds and other viruses.

“We have been seeing a lot more of the common everything,” explained Dr. Melissa Aquilo with Patient First. “The common cold, hand, foot and mouth virus, we are seeing a lot of everything.”

Dr. Aquilo says many of the symptoms overlap with COVID-19, the reason they recommend testing for COVID-19 to eliminate it if someone is showing specific symptoms.

“A lot of them will have fevers, or congestion, or sore throat, and all of those symptoms overlap with COVID. They are not easy to differentiate. The best way to differentiate them is by testing for COVID,” she said “We are not out of it yet, we are better, but we are not out of it yet.”

Dr. Aquilo says the rise in common colds and hand, foot and mouth seem to be coming from in-person activities.

“More people are together now. I kind of feel like the outbreaks we are seeing of hand, foot and mouth or other things are kids that are at daycares or kids who have been to summer camps,” Dr. Aquilo explained. “We are also seeing people who are having family reunions - everyone is having reunions right now. People are coming back from family reunions sick and it is not necessarily COVID. Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not.”

For anyone who may be worried about symptoms, Dr. Aquilo says don’t be afraid to call or visit your doctor. She also recommends continuing to follow the guidelines put in place during the pandemic, to help prevent the spread of other illnesses.

“Keep your hands off your face, hand washing and keep your distance,” she said. “If you have something you are going to possibly transmit it to other people, so all the guidelines of distancing and masking wearing are still important.”

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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