As coronavirus cases continue to surge across most parts of the U.S. and hospitalizations skyrocket, experts are gearing up for what they’re calling a “twindemic” as cold and flu season looms.
While many COVID symptoms are not specific to the coronavirus itself, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is warning of the one symptom you should not ignore this fall and winter.
“The one symptom that I would alert people to that really differentiates flu from COVID is loss of taste or smell,” Adams said on NPR’s All Things Considered. “If you get that symptom, then you need to be reaching out to your health provider right away and going in and getting a COVID test.”
According to BBC News, “A change in—or loss of—someone’s sense of smell or taste are now recognized as core symptoms of coronavirus.“ The symptom can last for a few days or longer.
As previously reported on For Every Mom, the 2020 flu season presents challenges we’ve never faced before. With the two viruses sharing SO many of the same symptoms, it can be hard to know whether you have COVID or the flu.
If you or someone you know loses their sense of taste or smell, contact your doctor right away. The only guaranteed way to tell the difference between COVID and the flu is by being tested.
With U.S. cases hitting record highs on a daily basis, now more than ever, we all must do our part to keep ourselves and our families safe this cold and flu season.
Dr. Adams encourages people to practice “the three W’s” when it comes to being around other people this holiday season.
“The three W’s are most important if you do come together around other people: wear a mask, wash your hands and frequently disinfect commonly touched surfaces, and watch your distance from other people,” Adams says. “And if you can’t do these things in this environment where you’re planning on coming together, then you should probably stay home because, again, this virus is incredibly unforgiving.”