Local doctor says COVID and allergy symptoms could be confused

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dr. Michelle Kitson said despite people not being exposed to germs as much over the last year, immune systems haven’t been impacted too much.

“Things that I’m seeing more of right now, just really unfortunately too much COVID,” Kitson said.

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She said people can easily confuse symptoms during this time, though.

“Coughing when they pass people mowing the lawns,” she said. “The pollen, the grass and that can kind of make people think they have respiratory illnesses when really it’s just allergies.”

She said checking temperatures is a major way of figuring what the issue could be.

Kitson also said many of us sleep with a fan on, which dries the nasal passages, making us more susceptible to cold-like symptoms.

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Dr. Kitson said RSV, which is a respiratory virus, is on the rise with children.

“RSV is a pediatric illness mainly and it is incredibly contagious and so we do find this time of year that my pediatrician colleagues are panicking because quite a few infants do come down and it can be very, very deadly,” she said.

Kitson said drinking plenty of water, eating healthy and exercising go a long way to building a stronger immune system.

“If we can push to get in two liters of water daily, that helps our immune system to function better,” she said. “Another thing is rest. We minimize the importance of rest. Most of us have our devices on right next to us by the bed.”