Allergy season is upon us and it just so happens to coincide with yet another rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide, which is why people may have an even harder time differentiating between the symptoms.
That being said, here’s how you can tell the difference between seasonal allergies and the much more dangerous virus!
Dr. Anjuli Mehrotra, a board certified allergist, pediatrician and immunologist, shared via CBS News earlier this week that “The pollen counts are up throughout the country, and the symptoms can be quite similar.”
Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that common symptoms between COVID-19 and seasonal allergies may be tiredness, headaches and coughing.
At the same time, it is a known fact that usually, seasonal allergies don’t cause shortness of breath, a symptom that COVID does often cause.
Of course, you may still experience some shortness of breath with allergies but only if you have another respiratory condition such as asthma.
Other common COVID symptoms that seasonal allergies are not generally responsible for are chills, fever, body aches and loss of smell and taste.
On the other hand, the virus does not usually cause watery or itchy eyes, sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose or a sore throat, all of which are common symptoms of seasonal allergies as per the CDC.
🌼 It’s allergy season. #COVID19 & seasonal allergies share some symptoms, but not others. Use this chart to compare the symptoms of COVID-19 & seasonal allergies so you can tell the difference.
— CDC (@CDCgov) March 20, 2021
As you can observe, there are several differences between the two but even so, the symptoms are similar enough that Mehrotra encourages people to remain cautious if they are not sure which affliction they are actually dealing with this spring.
She advises that “It’s actually best to consider it COVID until proven otherwise. If you’re having symptoms, I would not hesitate to take an at home COVID-19 test, specifically a rapid antigen test could be really useful in this scenario.”
She also stressed that those who suffer from seasonal allergies are not actually at a higher risk of catching COVID or experiencing more severe symptoms upon getting infected with the virus.
Still, she pointed out that patients with moderate to severe asthma may be at a higher risk of hospitalization if they catch COVID.