Is it COVID-19 or Seasonal Allergies?

Stephanie Chong

It’s Spring in DC. Everything is coming to life. The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and the weather is perfect!  For many this is also the time of year where seasonal allergies are at their worst. Unfortunately, some seasonal allergy symptoms are similar to symptoms of COVID-19. To help you consider whether that runny nose is something to be concerned about, the CDC offers a Venn diagram that shows the symptoms unique to each condition, and which symptoms they share:

AARP offers a helpful article on how to determine the difference between allergies and COVID-19. In the article Panagis Galiatsatos, M.D., a physician in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine states, “If you have a fever and chills, that can indicate an infection, so you should definitely get a coronavirus test. The same goes if you lose your sense of taste or smell.” Dr. Galiatsatos adds, “Most people with seasonal allergies know their symptoms. If it’s what you feel every year, it’s probably not COVID.”  Call your doctor if you aren’t sure if your symptoms are related to allergies or something more serious.

The Mayo Clinic recommends allergy sufferers stay indoors with the windows closed when pollen is high. They also suggest that wearing a face mask might provide some protection against seasonal allergies, just be sure to wash your mask and your hands after each use.

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