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Sore throat, then congestion: Common Covid symptoms follow a pattern now, doctors say

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Doctors say they’re finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish Covid from allergies or the common cold, even as hospitalizations tick up.


The illness’ past hallmarks, such as a dry cough or the loss of sense of taste or smell, have become less common. Instead, doctors are observing milder disease, mostly concentrated in the upper respiratory tract.


“It isn’t the same typical symptoms that we were seeing before. It’s a lot of congestion, sometimes sneezing, usually a mild sore throat,” said Dr. Erick Eiting, vice chair of operations for emergency medicine at Mount Sinai Downtown in New York City.


The sore throat usually arrives first, he said, then congestion.