This summer, as we return to work, school and resume social activities, doctors have reported an unseasonal surge in common respiratory illnesses.
According to Dr. Maeve O’Connor, founder and medical director at Allergy Asthma and Immunology Relief of Charlotte, North Carolina, “It’s tough to truly say whether colds this year are actually worse or if people are more aware and nervous due to the pandemic. There is no actual data as of yet proving that colds are more severe this year.”
“The symptoms of cough, runny nose, fatigue, headache, body aches, and congestion are indistinguishable from the symptoms of COVID-19, likely increasing a patient’s awareness of symptoms and making them seem more severe than what they’ve experienced in the past.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that one virus in particular, called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) which normally peaks in the winter has been on the rise since April. RSV causes similar cold and flu symptoms, and can be very risky to young children and seniors.
Dr. O’Connor adds, “The lack of pre-existing immunity from the previous winter is creating an exponential rise in RSV cases. Pandemic restrictions have created a much larger population of susceptible young children. Babies who are now toddlers were largely protected from RSV during lockdown. Since then, a new group of infants have been born, and as a result, the virus now has the opportunity to infect twice as many vulnerable children and spread it to older children and adults at higher rates.”
To prevent and speed up recovery from these common upper respiratory illnesses, Dr. O’Connor recommends:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Staying hydrated
- Taking universal precautions such as washing hands, wearing face masks and eye shields
- Getting vaccinated against COVID-19
Other tips to boost your immune system:
While over-the-counter medications relieve symptoms, many can only be taken for a limited time and cannot be taken while on the job. If you’re like many allergy sufferers who are tired of taking drugs[i], consider clinically effective treatments like ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief – it’s 100% drug-free and FDA-cleared. ClearUP uses gentle microcurrent technology to relieve sinus pain and congestion.
[i] Research America Tivic Health Sinus Device Pricing Survey, sample size 600, June 25, 2018