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Is it COVID or a cold? Doctors warn it’s better to be safe than sorry

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 7:48 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The warning signs may not be as clear as you think. Is it a cold or COVID?

Doctors say you may not have that rundown of symptoms you heard repeatedly at the start of the pandemic.

King’s Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven shared the information on their social media pages this week.

Some of you may be feeling crummy but assume it’s not COVID. So, pay attention.

“The biggest thing we see with Delta is that more patients don’t have that classic set of symptoms,” said Dr. Laura Miller, family physician in Prentiss. “Some do. Some absolutely will match the fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell. But a lot of our adult patients will present with low grade fever, runny nose, or headache and sore throat. And that is a little bit different with Delta.”

“So we always knew that some people had the nausea, the vomiting, diarrhea, that goes along with some COVID cases that’s more prevalent with the Delta variant,” noted Mississippi State Medical Association board member Dr. Jennifer Bryan.

But those doctors do caution... just because it starts off as something mild doesn’t mean that won’t change.

“Always with COVID, day five to seven really is that time when people seem to take a turn downward,” added Bryan. “That’s not an absolute, but we see that a lot.”

“COVID is a progressive thing,” said Miller. “Some people get symptoms quickly. And they get severely ill quickly.”

TrustCare opened some testing-specific clinics during previous surges. But make this note.

“Unfortunately, I wish I could say it’s not as bad as the other ones but this is the worst one we’ve seen yet,” said TrustCare President/CEO Warren Herring of the latest surge. “Just from an overall demand.”

We wanted to find out how that’s impacting testing supplies.

“We are seeing some supply chain issues with a couple of rapid testing vendors but we’ve remained unaffected by that,” noted Herring. “Just recently we ordered an additional amount of testing supplies just to be overly cautious. Just in case there is a tightening on the supply.”

Outside of rapid tests results, they’re still seeing better turnaround for PCR tests than times last year.

“The PCR tests they’re doing at their COVID testing centers have a 24-hour turnaround,” said Herring. “I still think we’re about 2-3 day time frame. I wouldn’t be surprised if that pushes back to a 4-5 day time frame.”

Doctors say the other reason to get COVID tested early rather than waiting around, there’s a certain time window to be eligible for monoclonal antibody treatment that could keep you out of the hospital.

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