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These days, any runny nose or scratchy throat is enough to scare us into thinking that we may have COVID-19. But seasonal allergies account for a lot of the symptoms that we feel on a month-to-month basis. And now with a pandemic upon us, every little sniffle can turn heads and cause glares. So, here are some things to keep in mind when you start to notice aches, pains, and other symptoms in your body.
Coughing and shortness of breath are symptoms of both COVID-19 and allergies, which can make things confusing. But, one major difference between COVID-19 and allergies is a fever. If your temperature rises, then it’s most likely not allergies. “Seasonal allergies do not cause fever. If you are experiencing fever, you should contact your doctor or seek out COVID-19 testing promptly,” confirms Jay Shi, MD, Internal Medicine Physician at SCL Health Medical Group in Denver. Usually seasonal symptoms include itchy eyes, a sniffly nose and sneezing. If your conditions worsen if you go outside, it’s probably allergies, while symptoms that worsen steadily are more likely a viral infection.
Another critical distinction is that COVID-19 is extremely contagious while allergies are not. As soon as you feel as though you may have the novel coronavirus, take measures to quarantine immediately in order to prevent the spread. The virus can transmit through frequently touched surfaces and from the respiratory droplets of those infected. Sneezing and coughing with allergies still spreads droplets but without the worry of spreading a virus. Another resource that compares cold, flu and COVID-19 symptoms may also be helpful to you. Click here to learn more.
For those of who have had allergies in the past, it’s easier to predict and pinpoint the cycle of symptoms. But if that normal pattern doesn’t play out, or the cough or sneeze feels different, take note and then take precautions to limit your interactions with others. Allergy sufferers also may want to consider treatment to cut down on their symptoms. Not only so they can feel better, but also so others around them aren’t alarmed by sniffling and sneezing during a pandemic. Here’s to staying safe out there.