Is it just allergies or symptoms of COVID-19? Local doctor calls it a 'diagnostic dilemma'

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The strong winds that buffeted Southern California this week have triggered allergy symptoms for many and raised concerns that the wheezing and sneezing may be symptoms of COVID-19.

That's left many to wonder how they can tell the difference.

Dr. Anthony Cardillo, an ER specialist and CEO of Mend Urgent Care in Los Angeles, said that's a difficult question and often poses a "diagnostic dilemma" for people in the medical field.

"We do see that a lot of people now that are having the exacerbation of these allergies and we know, over the last year, that we have seen a lot of people with COVID that do have fairly mild symptoms. Maybe a little scratchy throat, maybe a little runny nose, a little congestion. These are all things that mimic seasonal allergies so it is very difficult for us and frustrating for patients because they don't know at what point they should get tested," Cardillo said.

That's why, he said, people experiencing those symptoms need to err on the side of caution and speak to a physician to decide whether a coronavirus test is warranted.

"We'd hate to miss a case of a COVID-positive person thinking that it's allergies, especially if you live in a household with susceptible people," Cardillo added.

Watch the above video for the full interview.
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