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Cold and flu cases rise as pre-pandemic activity returns

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(NEW YORK) –Through lockdowns, remote working, travel restrictions and school closures — many have not had a cold in two years. Now cold and flu rates appear to be on the rise as Americans return to pre-COVID activities sans masks.

Dr. Peter Chin Hong at UC San Francisco says his hospital is seeing an influx of cold and flu complaints.

“Usually we’ve gotten several colds a year for most people,” he told ABC News. “I think not having them means when you do get one it lasts a little bit longer.”

While cold and flu symptoms can often resemble COVID-19 symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says testing may be necessary to confirm a diagnosis.

Dr. Hong stressed the importance of returning to public life with caution.

“It’s really crucial to keep up your street smarts not just about COVID, but these other pathogens that you can transmit,” he said.

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