During the COVID-19 pandemic, developing certain symptoms, such as a cough, can be concerning. However, these symptoms are not necessarily a sign that a person has contracted the coronavirus.
With the temperature dropping, some people are finding that their seasonal allergies are flaring up. Allergies cause symptoms that can seem concerningly similar to those of COVID-19. However, there are ways of telling COVID-19 and allergies apart.
If a person has not had an allergy flare-up before, they may not know whether what they are experiencing is normal. Other factors, such as climate change, are causing seasonal triggers to occur at different times. It can be confusing if allergic responses are starting earlier or later in the year than a person expects.
Keep reading to learn more about the differences between the symptoms of allergies and those of the disease resulting from the new coronavirus.
An allergic reaction is the body’s response when the immune system is sensitive to certain substances, known as allergens. Allergies can involve reactions to allergens outside the body, such as dust, or those inside, such as after eating food containing nuts.
Allergies are individual and do not pass between people. Although allergic reactions can sometimes be severe, they are more often minor, causing symptoms that are irritating but not threatening to health.
When allergies flare up, they can cause responses that have worrying similarities to COVID-19. Some people experience allergies year-round, while others have more seasonal allergies, such as hay fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include, among others:
- shortness of breath
- loss or change to smell or taste
- nausea and vomiting
It is possible to have the coronavirus and experience few or no symptoms.
Different substances can cause allergic reactions, but they often trigger similar symptoms. These include:
- congestion or runny nose
- shortness of breath
Regarding symptoms, a key difference to note is fever. If a person has a fever, it is extremely unlikely that they are only experiencing an allergy. Instead, they may have a type of illness, such as the flu or, possibly, COVID-19.