NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A scratchy throat, the sniffles, feeling a little tired. It’s wintertime, when those symptoms are common. But this season things are different, and it’s ill-advised to ignore even a mild illness.
“I do have a lot of patients come through that say, ‘I know myself, I know my body. I get this illness every year; there is no way this is COVID,” said Jenny Wise, Nurse Practitioner with the respiratory clinic at Ascension Saint Thomas Medical Partners Hendersonville. “We have to talk; we know the symptoms you come in with today are COVID symptoms. We really just need to test.”
Wise said COVID-19 symptoms vary widely for each person. Even a fever is not a reliable marker.
“I have patients all the time who come in with no fever,” Wise said. “They may not have fever their entire course of illness. I would say 40% of the people I see at least.”
Other viruses are still around, but Wise said right now, COVID-19 is the predominant virus being transmitted in Middle Tennessee.
“It makes a lot of sense to get tested to know and help keep your community safe,” Wise said.
What makes testing and quarantining so important with COVID-19 versus another virus is the possibility of passing it to someone who may get seriously ill, even someone not in a high-risk group.
“There is a subset of people who are going to get very, very sick and some of them are going to die,” Wise said. “COVID is very unpredictable. We have healthy young people who get sick and die and we can’t say why.”
You can do your part to protect yourself and others: If you’re sick, get tested and stay home.