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Coronavirus or allergy? The symptom that makes the difference

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With some of the symptoms of Covid-19 infection resembling those of allergic rhinitis, it is not unreasonable to be confused and worried about getting sick. Let’s see what differentiates one situation from another

“Symptoms such as congestion, sore throat, and loss of smell are all common with both seasonal allergies and COVID-19,” notes Dr. Jonathan Matz, allergist, and immunologist at LifeBridge Health, a nonprofit in Maryland, USA. 

But can we suspect that these are not symptoms of coronavirus? The answer is yes, but in case there is a history of seasonal allergies:

People with allergies are not particularly worried because their symptoms are predictable.

“We’re not getting much concern from people who have seasonal allergies because their symptoms are predictable year to year,” Matz said in a LifeBridge news release.

This simply means that if it is common for you to have symptoms such as a runny nose and sore throat this time of year for each passing year, then it is most likely a seasonal allergy. 

Another sign that seasonal allergies are present, along with recurrence, is severe itching in the throat or nose area, symptoms that do not coincide with the common symptoms of coronavirus.

But if you have a fever, then it is a good sign that you are suffering from COVID-19 infection as fever is not a symptom of seasonal allergies. If you still have doubts and do not feel well, it is safest to get a coronavirus diagnostic test, as Jonathan Matz advises.

But even if it is confirmed that your symptoms are due to a seasonal allergy and not the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the coronavirus, your symptoms could make people around you feel uncomfortable, as a slow reboot operating in public and private spaces such as schools, workplaces, and restaurants.

Dr. Jonathan Matz even notes that the problem is acute for students with the resumption of lifelong learning, as teachers and nurses recommend to many children who show simple symptoms of seasonal allergies to stay home. 

To solve this problem, he advises those who show seasonal allergies every year to be examined by an allergist who will confirm their existence in writing.

Image Credit: Getty

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