Flu season could continue through April and May

Allergies vs. Flu: How to spot the difference

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A lot of us have been sneezing, coughing, and dealing with congestion, but are those symptoms related to seasonal allergies or the flu? Alabama is still considered by the CDC as having widespread flu.

“In this season, we are still seeing a little bit of flu,” said Dr. Celeste Reese-Willis with American Family Care.

She said the flu is hanging around. "I saw someone yesterday. A couple patients yesterday actually. I've seen one today. With the flu? We've seen people with the flu in April, May-ish," continued Willis.

With the flu still spreading in spring, people don't know if it's the flu or bad allergies.

“Typically the flu has a very abrupt onset. Allergies are typically a gradual thing. Typically with the flu they will have fever, chills, aches and they’ll have a headache. Typically people who are suffering from seasonal allergies will not have a fever, will not have chills, will not have aches,” described Willis.

“They will occasionally have a cough, but they rarely ever had any chest congestion. Most of the time, allergy symptoms are consistent with a stuffy nose,” Willis continued.

Dr. Willis said both allergies and the flu can create serious problem if left untreated.

“If you’re having nasal congestion and you’ve tried your seasonal antihistamine and it’s not working, and or it gets to the point where you’re having so much congestion that can push you over to having an infection. You need to come in and be seen. If it’s an abrupt onset and symptoms persist, definitely come in and be seen for the flu,” Willis explained.

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