The difference between allergy symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms


WASHINGTON (WDVM) — In the DMV, the weather is warming up and flowers are starting to bloom. For many, with the spring and blooming comes allergens. As allergies start to flare up, it is important that people recognize the difference between COVID-19 and allergies.

Dr. Maria Elena Ruiz, Medstar Washington Hospital Center’s Director of Transplant Infectious Diseases, said, “COVID and allergies can seem very similar and have some overlapping symptoms, they’re really actually very different.”

While the two are very different, some of the symptoms can be enough to scare you. With seasonal allergies, remember you will feel it in your upper airway.

Dr. Ruiz said, “(Allergies are) more focused on the nose, the eyes, maybe a little congestion, whereas COVID is more fever, which you wouldn’t have with allergies, a dry cough and severe fatigue and body ache.”

While people experiencing allergies can feel tired, it is not as severe as with COVID-19.

If you’re feeling worried about your symptoms, there are options before you go take a COVID-19 test.

Dr. Ruiz said, “I would start with a consultation with your primary care doctor, urgent care clinic, even over the phone.”

The easiest way to prevent any confusion is to take your allergy medicine before the allergens strike.

“It’s going to alleviate yourself, right. If you can alleviate yourself from having a runny nose, itchy eyes then you’re not going to be wondering if you have COVID because you’re going to be feeling good,” said Dr. Ruiz.

Dr. Ruiz said that allergy season is another good reason to be wearing your mask, as it can create a barrier between your nose and mouth and any allergens in the air.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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