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Virus going around with symptoms that mimic allergies

A nasty virus going around the Tri-State mimics severe allergy symptoms. (WSYX/WTTE)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - If people are feeling pretty miserable these days, it could be allergies, but it might not.

A nasty virus going around the Tri-State mimics severe allergy symptoms.

It's even challenging healthcare providers who are trying to make sure people get the right treatment.

Beth Bailey was one of the lucky ones. Her symptoms are simply seasonal this time of year, but at the same time, the Tri-State had an allergy explosion these past few weeks.

Dr. Scott Woods said a respiratory virus also hit hard too.

"There must have been a new strain. Most of us didn't have a lot of resistance to."

Dr. Woods said dozens of patients came in thinking they had allergies the last few weeks when it was likely the newer virus. Or they may have had both.

Separating symptoms is critical to getting the right treatment.

Allergies usually start with sneezing and itching, while a virus hits quickly, often with a fever.

"Respiratory viruses, like that one, will usually spread through families; spread through employment areas very rapidly. A sign it's more contagious and infectious," said Woods.

This can even be difficult for a person's healthcare provider; what is actually an allergy or a viral reaction.

Both have had sort of a severe allergic bronchitis, or a feeling that a person can't breathe, and there's a viral bronchitis as well.

People need to probably get in to see a healthcare provider if they have a lingering cough, if they are noticing the phlegm is still there and if they are having trouble breathing, especially at night.

The allergy symptoms are lasting into the season. The virus does appear to be slowing its spread. If people get it, they may be really sick for up to a week.

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