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Doctors trying to clear up the confusion between COVID-19 and flu

Between the flu, COVID-19 and spring allergies, many parents aren't sure what to worry about...
Between the flu, COVID-19 and spring allergies, many parents aren't sure what to worry about most when it comes to their kids.(WKYT)
Published: Mar. 10, 2020 at 11:51 AM EDT
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Doctors across the state are fielding questions from confused and concerned parents right now.

Between the flu, COVID-19 and spring allergies, many aren't sure what to worry about most when it comes to their kids.

While COVID-19 is the newest concern for parents, health leaders say the flu remains the most prevalent issue for kids here in Kentucky.

But with such similar symptoms, it can be tough to differentiate between the two illnesses.

While coughing and fever are shared symptoms, doctors say delayed symptoms and shortness of breath are more common with coronavirus.

While sore throat, achiness and a runny nose are more common with the flu.

Kentucky has seen more than

, compared to just a handful of confirmed cases of COVID-19, none of which involve children, at this point.

Dr. Sayeed Khan says when it comes to the flu, not all cases are created equal.

"Typical influenza a is the more common one and presents earlier in the season," said Dr. Khan, Norton Children's Fern Creek. "We've seen a lot more influenza B and, typically tends to come later in the season. What we've also noticed is that kids tend to have more severe symptoms with influenza B than influenza A."

Because flu viruses mutate throughout the season, the flu shot isn't 100% effective.

Still, the shot, combined with good hygiene, is your best protection.

Spring allergy symptoms are also further complicating the situation.

Some of the most common indicators include itchy and watery eyes, a stuffy nose, along with coughing and/or wheezing.