Virus can mimic symptoms of allergies

Virus can mimic symptoms of allergies
Dr. Wes Sublett (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Dr. Wes Sublett (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An upper respiratory virus making its way around Louisville is mimicking the symptoms of seasonal allergies and making it difficult to differentiate when diagnosing.

"We definitely see people all the time who think it's their allergies that they are having problems with," said Dr. Wes Sublett of Family Allergy & Asthma, "but they're actually having an upper respiratory viral illness."

Dr. Sublett said while the symptoms are similar, there are differences between allergies and the virus to look out for.

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He explained a virus will often be accompanied by a fever. It will also come on "all of a sudden" as opposed to allergies, which develop gradually with the allergy season.

"If you feel like you've been hit by a bus, it's unlikely it's allergies, it's probably something more viral," said Sublett.

Sublett said the durations of each will be different, the upper respiratory illness will last approximately 10 days, but allergies can last up to months and through the allergy season. A virus can move through families and coworkers at the same time, but allergies won't pop up all at once.

"If you have coworkers that all of a sudden become "allergic" or get allergy problems, it may not be allergies; they're probably coming down with something," he said.

Dr. Sublett recommends anyone who experiences symptoms should see their primary care physician to get a diagnosis.

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