By CBSLA Staff

SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA) – Is it COVID-19 or just a summer cold? Many say it is hard to tell the difference because they share the same symptoms.

“It’s a big problem,” said Dr. Anjali Mahoney, a family medicine physician at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. “And the reason is that there are no ways to differentiate the two. A cold can be a cough, runny nose, fever, headache, but so can COVID.”

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Dr. Mahoney said at USC clinics, there is a spike in the number of people coming in with symptoms.

“I think it’s really important that people recognize that they need to go get tested if they’re having any of those symptoms, even if they’re vaccinated,” Mahoney added.

Dr. Mahoney said they’re seeing a resurgence of the common cold. Patients have respiratory viruses that are more common in the winter because people are together, indoors, without masks for the first time in a while. But LA County is also seeing a surge in COVID cases.

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“The problem I’m seeing in our clinics is that I don’t think that you can trust that you don’t have COVID just by being vaccinated,” said Mahoney. “So even if you have symptoms, mild symptoms, I wouldn’t assume that it’s a cold, I would assume you need to get tested and quarantine.”

Residents of Sherman Oaks said Wednesday they believe getting tested for COVID is crucial right now because of the rapidly spreading Delta variant.

“I just came to urgent care two weeks ago because I had a sore throat and I was feeling just bad so, I have two little kids at home, so I wanted to make sure I was safe,” said Olivia Pollock.

Health officials said the spread of the infectious Delta variant of the virus now represents 60% of California cases.

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More than one in five California adults said they never or only sometimes followed state COVID-19 health guidelines, according to new data from UCLA’s 2021 California Health Interview Survey.