As winter gives way to spring, nature does not give any signs in relation to what the people of the world are going through. As trees and flowers bloom, just like they do every spring, the people accustomed to witnessing the awe-inspiring transformation on display each spring are experiencing a transformation of their own.
Social distancing measures enacted during the COVID-19 outbreak have forced many people to stay home, only venturing outside to run routine errands like buying groceries or filling prescriptions, and recommendations to stay home include people exhibiting mild symptoms of illness.
As spring hits its stride and pollen counts climb, many people will wonder if certain symptoms they are experiencing are by-products of seasonal allergies or the COVID-19 virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that it’s easy to mistake common allergy symptoms for COVID-19, and that’s especially so given the level of concern many people have about the novel coronavirus that has already claimed millions of victims across the globe. But it’s important that people recognize the symptoms of allergies and COVID-19 are different. The following are some symptoms of allergies and some of COVID-19, courtesy of the CDC and the Mayo Clinic.
• Itchy eyes
• Stuffy nose
Doctors advise people who are exhibiting potential allergy symptoms to pay attention to their body temperatures. People with allergies very rarely experience fever, so the absence of fever, even if other symptoms of allergies are present, might indicate that a person is suffering from allergies and not COVID-19. In addition, allergy symptoms tend to be mild and recur year after year around the same time, such as when plants bloom in spring and summer. So if symptoms that are currently present are the same ones a person confronts every year, then he or she is likely suffering from allergies and not COVID-19. People can err on the side of caution by discussing their symptoms and history with their physicians.
• Shortness of breath
• Loss of sense of taste or smell
• New cough (or worsening of a chronic cough)
• You should also get tested for COVID-19 if you have two or more of the following symptoms for more than 24 hours: a sore throat, headache, extreme fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, and muscle aches.
Some asthma sufferers experience shortness of breath as a result of allergies, so people with asthma should consider that before assuming they have COVID-19. Discussing shortness of breath with a physician can help asthma sufferers gain more clarity on their condition.
While symptoms of allergies and COVID-19 are different, the CDC notes that people suffering from the flu may experience the same symptoms experienced by people with the coronavirus. Symptoms such as fever, fatigue, body aches, and cough can affect both flu and COVID-19 sufferers, so people experiencing these symptoms should contact their physicians.
It’s easy to mistake common allergy symptoms as indicative of the presence of the COVID-19 virus. But the symptoms of each condition are quite different. Learn more at www.cdc.gov.