Know the difference between COVID-19 and allergy symptoms


We are all hyper aware of the main symptoms of Covid-19: fever, dry cough, loss of smell or taste, fatigue and aches, and shortness of breath. But the problem is, similar symptoms can appear in cases where people aren’t actually suffering from the coronavirus.

Allergies are extremely common at various times of the year, and many of the symptoms you experience can make it seem like they could be signs that you have the coronavirus. It’s easy to panic, but before you start Google search and stress yourself out even more, read the points below to be better informed.

Stop. Think. Do you frequently suffer from allergies? If your medical history includes seasonal allergies, they may come back. Allergies are caused by your immune system overreacting (too strongly) to normal things in your environment, like dust mites or animal hair, so ask yourself if you’ve been exposed to any of these triggers. .

We all spend a lot more time outdoors these days due to lockdown restrictions, so allergens like grass and pollen could also cause an allergic reaction in your body. Allergies respond well to antihistamines, which you might have on hand if you’ve been diagnosed in the past.

Are your eyes or nose itchy? Colds, flu, and COVID-19 are non-itchy, so if you’re scratching and your eyes are swollen, it’s more likely to be allergies. Allergies are also generally more localized, concentrated in the nose, ears, and throat, while COVID-19 causes a system-wide response, often with aches and chills, and sometimes fever.

READ: Pfizer / BioNTech to produce Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa

Shortness of breath is one of the strongest signs of Covid-19, which can occur before the onset of pneumonia. Allergies usually only affect your breath if you are congested or have asthma. Either way, this is a serious symptom, so if you have trouble breathing you should see a healthcare professional urgently.

  • Loss of smell or taste

This unique symptom of Covid-19 isn’t something you experience if you have allergies (unless it’s just a stuffy nose). However, it’s also worth noting that this particular symptom is not as common with the newer Delta variant of the virus, according to UK NHS data and the team behind the Zoe Covid Symptom study. *. They noted that headaches, sore throats and runny nose are more common with this latest variant of the virus.

READ: The Worst Plants For Your Allergies

Allergy symptoms usually begin within 48 hours of exposure to the allergen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 has an incubation period of up to 14 days, but the average time between infection and onset of symptoms is five days. If you think you might have Covid-19, the most important thing to do is see a doctor, get tested, and isolate yourself so you don’t spread the virus.

And if you end up requiring hospitalization, some physician assistants like Fedhealth offer “hospital at home” as a service to suitable applicants, providing people with a team of trained healthcare professionals who bring all elements of hospital care to the table. patient. home, including real-time monitoring.

We must all work together to fight this virus and education is key. Most importantly, if you are unsure if you have allergies or something more serious, see a doctor so you can be properly diagnosed and treated.

READ: Are you already registered for the COVID-19 vaccine? Here’s how…

Image courtesy of iStock / @ g-stockstudio

Disclaimer: The health-related information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problem. It is always advisable to consult your doctor for any health problem.

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