KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — COVID-19 is not the only illness you and your family need to look out for this spring according to the Knox County Health Department.
“Between it warming up, people are going outside, people are excited to get back to their lives and so I think we are seeing a normal change there with the introduction of a new variant and distance from last vaccination,” said Dr. Corinne Tandy with the Health Department.
The Knox County Health Department reported that there’s been a slight jump in COVID cases recently. 80% of them can be attributed to BA2 which is a variant of Omicron.
“BA1, BA2, and this new sub-variant are all part of a version of Omicron,” Tandy explained.
Along with a new sub-variant of the COVID-19 virus, Tandy said stomach bugs are also common this time of year.
“With this time of year, with people trying to get together, have barbeques together and stuff like that, we expect to see an increase in gastrointestinal illness and just encourage folks to brush up on their food safety,” said Tandy.
This includes washing your hands and cooking your food to proper temperatures. In addition, while you’re outside at your family barbecue, remember to use bug spray.
“There’s a variety of different conditions that you can get from mosquito and ticks both viral and bacterial,” said Tandy.
If you’ve had a tick or mosquito bite and experience fever, are feeling lethargic, or have joint pain, Dr. Tandy said to call your physician.
Allergies can also be bad this time of year. Runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and upper respiratory situation can all be signs of allergies but they can also be symptoms of COVID-19.
“Being mindful of those allergy symptoms, their overlap with COVID symptoms, is especially something to keep in mind when making decisions about going out or wearing a mask, or doing a home test or going and getting a test,” Tandy said.