What to Know About Cedar Fever

Most people are bracing for the flu this time of year, but right now, something else is making people nauseous.

“We keep getting sick, which I don’t like,” said Kristy Freeney, “One minute I'm okay, then as soon as the weather changes, I'm like, oh my god I’m feeling sick again.”

Freeney is guarding against the flu and colds as best as she can, but it's possible that most people are getting sick from what’s blowing in the wind.

Doctor Rajiv Pandit of Dallas ENT at Methodist Dallas explained, “What we ask patients is ‘have you had these symptoms for more than a week? Have you had these symptoms recur on a regular basis? Did you have this last December? And the December before?’”

Dr. Pandit specializes in ear, nose, and throat treatments. He blames the recent uptick in sickness on high pollen counts in North Texas.

A sample in Plano, taken Friday, shows high counts of mountain cedar. It's blooming in the hill country and catching a ride up north on some of the same warm air that’s behind some of our mild winter days.

Symptoms include an irritated throat, congestion, fatigue and low grade fevers, “That's generally what cedar fever is and with the counts we have in Dallas, it's very possible for a person to experience a cedar fever,” said Dr. Pandit.

“It's worse than a cold, I think,” said Michelle Schumacher, “I'd rather have a cold than allergies.”

She too is looking for relief, along with other folks during the Texas winter. “I came from CVS just a few minutes ago and actually there were people sneezing at the counter paying for their stuff and they were buying stuff for allergies.”

If you think you're suffering from allergies Dr. Pandit says an air purifier at home helps, along with saline sprays and nasal washes. If that doesn’t work, Dr. Pandit says to start taking over-the-counter allergy medication. If you feel really bad, you can also see a doctor to make sure it’s not a virus or infection.

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