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As we enter another pandemic spring, pollen counts are on the rise and the coronavirus continues to circulate in our communities. There is some overlap between seasonal allergy symptoms and COVID-19, so sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference! Here is a quick review of allergy symptoms versus COVID-19 symptoms.
Overlapping symptoms of allergies and COVID-19
The most common overlapping (meaning these can happen with allergies or COVID-19) symptoms of allergies and COVID-19 are:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose (this is less common in COVID-19)
Cough and shortness of breath happen less often with allergies unless the person has a history of asthma which can be triggered by pollen.
Individuals with seasonal allergies frequently experience the following symptoms:
- Itchy nose
- Itchy and/or watery eyes
These symptoms are NOT associated with COVID-19, and generally get better with over-the-counter allergy medications (antihistamines) such as Zyrtec, Claritin or Allegra. Nasal corticosteroid sprays, such as Flonase, Nasonex or Nasacort are also often helpful for seasonal allergy symptoms.
COVID-19 infection most often involves the following symptoms:
- Body aches
- Loss of taste and/or smell
If any of these symptoms are present, your child should be kept home in quarantine as a precaution until a COVID-19 test can be arranged.
Download our COVID-19 versus seasonal allergies infographic here.