Why more Michiganders are dealing with long-term cold and flu symptoms

Why more Michiganders are dealing with long-term cold and flu symptoms
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 10:15 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2022 at 11:11 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - If you’ve been down and out, dealing with sneezing, coughing and congestion and you don’t feel like it’s going away -- you’re not alone.

It’s more common than you think.

“I had a fever for four days,” said Karenia Randle. “I actually got concerned because I thought I had COVID.”

Randle, who lives in Lansing, has been battling cold and flu symptoms for almost 10 days.

“I don’t remember having the flu this bad,” Randle said. “I really don’t.”

While her fever and fatigue are starting to fade, she’s still dealing with head congestion and an assortment of other symptoms.

According to Dr. Farhan Bhatti, this is typical of long COVID and flu symptoms.

“This isn’t really a new phenomenon,” Bhatti said. “Believe it or not, this happens every winter, every flu season. People will get with an upper respiratory illness or the flu. Then it can take one to two months for them to fully recover.”

COVID has many of us flinching when we hear someone cough, but Bhatti said you shouldn’t be too concerned. It’s one of the lingering effects of the common cold.

“You know, you get hit with a viral upper respiratory -- a runny nose and a cough -- then you get better,” Bhatti said. “But that cough just lingers and lingers. That can last for a month or even two sometimes.”

In spite of her best efforts to avoid getting sick, Randle believes it was a casual trip to the grocery store where she caught something.

“I’m thinking that crowd of folks, someone in there had a strand of the flu,” Randle said. “That’s probably how I contracted it.”

Bhatti said there’s been a major influx of cold and flu patients over last year. He when almost everyone was wearing a mask in 2021, it helped prevent the spread of many airborne illnesses.

He said with viruses like the cold and flu, it’s best to treat the symptoms with over-the-counter medications until the illness goes away.

More: Health stories

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