SAN DIEGO —
How are you feeling? If you're a little under the weather, you're not alone. San Diegans and people across the United States report symptoms like runny nose, sore or itchy throat, coughing, and much more.
People are now raising the alarm to see if there's a new mystery illness going around. Now that we’ve made our way through nearly three years with coronavirus, whenever many people get sick, they wonder, “Is this COVID?”
"We were having dinner one night, and my son was eating and then just threw up on the dining room table," Dominique Kirby said.
Kirby is a wife and mom of two young kids. Kirby says whatever this mystery illness is, it was in and out of her home within a week.
However, everyone in the family caught something, and everyone's symptoms were different.
“It was just my son one night,” Kirby shared, “And the next day, it was my daughter and me, and the next day, it was my husband. Thankfully nobody got re-infected. We all got it once, and then we went through our symptoms and were done with it."
We talked to Dr. Jyotu Sandhu at Sharp Rees-Stealy and asked if something was happening.
“There's always something going around 365 days a year, more so in the winter, and we see it traditionally every year. But no, it's not (COVID-19) because all these other viruses have been out there for years, and now it's just catching everyone's attention," Dr. Sandhu said.
Dr. Alice Pong at Rady Children’s Hospital says because symptoms vary, we must remain vigilant if you or someone we love is sick for too long.
"Some viruses like adenovirus can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, and every virus affects people in different ways. Some of these viral infections can lead to secondary bacterial infections, so if you have persistent symptoms, you should see your doctor," Pong said.
Sandhu added, "If your symptoms are getting worse past 7-10 days or if you're at about four days of a fever, you should see a doctor.”
When figuring out if it's the flu or COVID-19, a newly FDA-approved test designed to be used at home tests for both.
The Lucira COVID-19 & Flu Home Test is available over the counter.
Sandhu says an at-home test for both viruses is a step in the right direction. "Whenever I see people who are sick and present with a viral syndrome-type picture, I just go ahead and order both because I think it's best to rule out both of those serious viruses," she said.
So, what should you do if you're not sick enough to go to the doctor, but everyone in your home is working on feeling better?
Kirby says, as soon as you can, get to cleaning. "Another thing I like to do is open the windows and get some fresh air in my house because, as my grandma would say, 'You get the sickness out and bring the clean air in," she said.
Here are some tips to remember if you start feeling ill:
- If you have a runny nose for a week or two, that's normal.
- An itchy, sore throat, a cough, and/or sneezing are also normal for this time of year.
- Sometimes patients - from kids to adults - will have a fever, but not everyone who feels bad will.
Doctors say a good rule of thumb to remember is the same tips we used to protect ourselves from COVID-19, like good hygiene and social distancing can keep you healthy from any of the viruses that are most common this time of year.
WATCH RELATED: San Diego County COVID-19 emergency ends nearly three years later (Feb. 2023).