Feeling sick? Steps to take to determine if it’s COVID, flu or allergies

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:05 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. -- It’s the season of spring sniffles.

While we’re dealing with COVID, a late flu season and allergies, we wanted to know, how can you tell the difference and what should you do if you’re not feeling well?

“All of these things can cause very, very similar symptoms, especially this new strain of COVID seems to cause fairly mild disease. It’s really hard to differentiate it from other disease,” Clackamas County Health Officer Dr. Sarah Present said. “If you have fever, if you have body aches, if you have GI complaints like nausea and vomiting, that’s probably some sort of viral illness. Allergies don’t tend to cause those sorts of things,”

She said if it does seem to be a viral illness, assume it’s COVID because that’s still more infectious than any of the colds or flus going around right now.

Dr. Present said take a COVID test and if it’s negative, take another one in a day or two.

“Then if you have a negative covid test, you have no fever for 24 hours without taking ibuprofen or Tylenol and you’re feeling better, then it’s safe to leave your home.”