Coronavirus pandemic leads to spike in common colds reported, doctors say

ORLANDO, Fla. — Central Florida physicians say people are reporting coming down with common cold symptoms this spring at a much higher rate than normal.

Dr. Jonathan Schwarzman specializes in family medicine and is the associate medical director with AdventHealth CentraCare.

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Across the 35 clinics in that one system, doctors say they’re seeing close to 2,000 cases of the cold a week, compared to just 30 flu infections.

Dr. Schwartzman says the coronavirus pandemic could be responsible for driving up the number of colds reported.

People who would normally stay home at the first sign of a sore throat or cough are now more likely to get to their doctor for a COVID test, resulting in more documented colds.

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“So when that test comes negative, you know we’ve kind of ruled out COVID and upper respiratory tract, so a cold is likely what they have,” Dr. Schwartzman says.

Cold symptoms can also be confused with allergies. If symptoms aren’t improving with over-the-counter- medications, patients should check with their doctors to confirm that the symptoms are being treated correctly.