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Here is how common cold can be confused with COVID-19

Don’t worry University of Miami students! It was a false alarm, police say

Reality: The flu is much more dangerous than the common cold, carrying the danger of secondary bacterial infections like pneumonia.
Reality: The flu is much more dangerous than the common cold, carrying the danger of secondary bacterial infections like pneumonia. (FreeImages.com/Sebastian Smit)

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – A group of students watched in horror when medical personnel wearing protective gear responded to the aid of a University of Miami student on Friday night in Coral Gables.

The student at UM’s Pearson Residential College feared a COVID-19 infection, but after the medical team’s examination, the student was diagnosed with the common cold, according to the Coral Gables Police Department.

According to the National Foundation For Infectious Diseases, the symptoms of the two are similar, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. More than 200 types of viruses can cause the common cold, but rhinoviruses are the most common and experts can use a quick confirmatory test to tell the difference.

“Usually it isn’t necessary for you to see a health care provider,” a Harvard Medical School expert wrote. “You should see a doctor if you develop a high fever, severe sinus pain, ear pain, shortness of breath or new wheezing. These are symptoms that suggest you either have something other than a cold or a complication of the cold.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking anyone who feels sick with fever, cough or has difficulty breathing after recently traveling to an area with an ongoing spread of COVID-19 to call a healthcare professional.

Healthcare professionals in South Florida are working with the Florida Department of Health and the CDC to determine who needs to be tested for COVID-19.

COVID-19 continues to spread across United States
COVID-19 continues to spread across United States

As of Saturday morning, there are 278 people “currently being monitored” for COVID-19 symptoms in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Florida public health officials are also reporting 12 positive cases: Six are Florida residents, 5 are Florida cases repatriated and one is a non-Florida resident. Officials also reported two Florida residents who were COVID-19 patients died in Santa Rosa and Lee counties.

The Florida Department of Health’s call center is available 24-hours a day at 1-866-779-6121.

Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Robert Alpizar contributed to this report.


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