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Allergies or Coronavirus? Here’s how to tell the difference

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into allergy season, seasonal allergy suffers may be worried the symptoms they are experiencing are a sign of something more. Cold and flu symptoms, much like COVID-19, can mimic allergy symptoms. Don’t panic, though- there are some MAJOR differences between the two. Read on to find out how to tell the difference.

1. No Fever? No problem

Seasonal allergies are caused by an overreaction of the body’s immune system to a normally harmless pathogen. According to, the most common allergy symptoms are:

  • Runny/stuffy nose

  • Red, irritated, itchy eyes

  • Itchy nose and throat

  • Dry cough

  • Sneezing

Other symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue

  • Headache

  • Difficulty breathing

According to the CDC, the main symptoms of the Coronavirus are:

  • Fever

  • Shortness of Breath

  • Dry Cough

Other symptoms include:

  • Nasal congestion

  • Aches and pains

  • Runny nose

  • Sore throat

  • Diarrhea

Although you might notice some symptom overlap, the biggest and most important differentiator between allergies and COVID is fever. Fever is found in the majority of COVID cases, but will never occur with allergies.

2. Can’t Stop Sneezing? It's Allergies

Although some people may experience sneezing with the coronavirus, it will be much less frequent than if you are experiencing allergies. If you experience sneezing with your allergies, it is more than likely that you will go through bouts of non-stop sneezing.

3. Got the Itch?

While itchiness is an unpleasant feeling all-around, you can find some relief in that it is only associated with seasonal allergies. Itchiness cannot occur as a symptom with the coronavirus. Whew!

4. Remember your pattern

If you are a long-time allergy sufferer, you can find peace of mind in recalling your allergy symptom patterns in the past. What season and months usually trigger your allergies? What symptoms are normal for you? If you notice these patterns aligning with your current symptoms, you can rest assured that it is most likely your allergies. Another important thing to note is that while allergies can last a long time, even year-round, COVID symptoms will last a few weeks at most.

5. Check the forecast

Another way to check if your symptoms are really allergies is to look up your local pollen forecast. If you notice that pollen counts are high while you are experiencing allergy-like symptoms, this is a good indicator that the two are related.

If you are an allergy sufferer, hopefully these tips help you feel more at ease. No matter what, everyone should take precautions against the spread of coronavirus, especially if you suffer from allergies since you are more likely to be touching your face. Make sure you practice social distancing, use a tissue to wipe and sneeze into your elbow. It is especially important for peace of mind not only for yourself but those around you to take allergy medication preventatively this allergy season. Taking medicine before you are exposed to your allergens often lessens the severity of your symptoms.

The information in this article is accurate to the best of the author’s knowledge at time of publication. As the COVID-19 situation develops, it is possible that some of the information regarding COVID-19 may change post-publication. We at Natural-RF will keep this article up-to-date should any of this information change.


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