Feeling sick? How to tell what you have

Cdc Recommendations

<aside class=”pullquote alignright”><a href=”https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/about-variants.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Curious about COVID-19 symptoms? Read more here</a></aside>The omicron variant of COVID-19 is running rampant across the country, including right here in West Alabama. So if you’re feeling under the weather, does it matter knowing which variant you have, or whether or not you’ve got COVID-19 at all?

Local physician Dr. Phillip Bobo said it’s simple, really.

“No, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “The big thing is vaccinations. I’m seeing a lot more patients who’ve had the COVID vaccination boosters who are getting COVID now, but they’re not very ill.”

COVID-19 tests are available through most local health care providers, both for in-person testing and at-home tests. No quick test can tell the difference between variants, but symptoms often vary.

According to the <a href=”https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention</a>, common COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The omicron variant’s symptoms are similar to what you’d feel with the common cold, so many people who aren’t feeling great may believe a test isn’t necessary. If you’re staying home and away from others anyway, that’s fine. But if you’re thinking about heading out among crowds, get a test, Bobo said. That way if you are positive for COVID-19, you’re not spreading it to others.

<p><span data-ogsb=”rgb(255, 255, 255)”>WVUA 23 Sports Director Gary Harris is home quarantining after getting positive test last week, and said he’s still surprised he has COVID-19.</span></p><p>“To be honest I didn’t know what I had,” Harris said. “I just figured I had a head cold or allergies. I just didn’t think about COVID.”</p><p>Harris said he got both rounds of the Moderna vaccine, but hasn’t yet had a booster.</p><p>“I’m usually the kind of guy that like to push through stuff, but with COVID going around and a trip to Dallas planned (for Cotton Bowl coverage), I just said to myself, ‘I’ve got to get tested.’ ”</p><p>His symptoms aren’t major, he said, and he’s already well on the way to recovery.</p><p>“I can’t speak for anyone else, but I do feel like based on what I’ve read and having conversed with other people that I’ve been blessed,” Harris said. “I have not had the feeling that I was near death or that I couldn’t get out of bed. I feel like the worst is certainly in the rear-view mirror.”</p><p><a href=”https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>According to the CDC</a>, the omicron variant accounts for as much as 90% of new COVID cases in parts of the country because of its high transmissibility.</p><p>“Since the Christmas break, I’ve seen more COVID-positive tests than I have the whole pandemic,” Bobo said. “I’ve probably performed close to 80 tests a day. I have never seen that many cases during the whole pandemic in one day. We’re definitely in a surge.”</p>

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