Flu-like symptoms? Could be rhino/enterovirus

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023–7:11 p.m.

-David Crowder, WRGA News-

Although we have seen a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases in Northwest Georgia, we are still way below what we saw when the pandemic was at its height….That, according to Dr. Gary Voccio, health director for the 10-county Georgia Department of Public Health’s Northwest District.

Dr. Gary Voccio

“In The past year, a year ago, we were dealing with hundreds of cases in Georgia,” he said. “Now, we are down to exceptionally low cases across the state, especially in Northwest Georgia. Although there are some hospitalizations of patients with COVID, and still, most of these patients have not been vaccinated or incidentally have not received their boosters.”

Dr. Voccio said there are other bugs out there making people sick.

“We had an early flu season,” he added. “Initially, it was Respiratory Syncytial Virus. Then we had the flu spike. Now, according to our state epidemiology office, the flu-like illness that we are seeing is called rhino/enterovirus. It’s almost a third of the cases. Our flu numbers are below the baseline.

There is no vaccine for the rhinovirus/enterovirus.

“You treat is symptomatically,” Dr. Voccio said. “It’s cold-like symptoms. It is spread by droplet nuclei and by wiping your eyes with your hands, then somebody else gets contaminated that way and you get a bad cold. It’s most likely at this time  rhino/enterovirus. There’s no vaccine for it. You just treat it with Tylenol and drinking plenty of fluids as well as making sure you don’t sneeze in someone else’s face.”

Dr. Voccio was a guest on Tuesday’s First News with Tony McIntosh.

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