SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Baystate Health is seeing a rise in COVID-19 patients right in the thick of flu season.
As of Monday, Baystate was treating 70 patients across its network of hospitals in the area. Baystate Medical Center in Springfield has the majority of cases with 54 COVID-19 patients. There are at least four cases at Franklin Medical Center, Wing Hospitals and Noble Hospital.
The increase in cases comes just a week after Baystate updated their visitor policy because of previously declining case numbers. Public Health officials told 22News that the colder weather forcing people inside, where there’s less air circulation, could be causing the growth in cases.
It’s important now that we’re in flu season to know the difference between flu and COVID symptoms. Both can be spread from person to person and share a few symptoms headaches, fever and cough. But an infectious disease expert from Baystate Health told 22News a key difference is that loss of smell or taste that’s specific to COVID-19.
But of course not everyone has that symptom, Also COVID-19 symptoms generally appear 2 to 14 days after exposure. Flu symptoms usually appear about 1 to 4 days after exposure.
Infectious disease experts say since it can be difficult to tell the difference, the best way to know would be to get tested.