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Video: Differentiating between symptoms of COVID-19 and seasonal allergies

May 06, 2020 05:48AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Video here

Dr. Kristi Monson says allergy season has begun.  Photo: WDIO-TV file

By Baihly Warfield from WDIO-TV - May 6, 2020

In this time of heightened awareness of our health, even those accustomed to seasonal allergies may think twice when comparing their symptoms to COVID-19. 

Dr. Kristi Monson, an allergist at St. Luke's, said there are some similarities between the two. 

"I think the main similarities that might confuse people would be congestion, nasal congestion, you can have a little bit of a sore throat, with a headache, a little dry cough," Monson said. "Any of those could be seen with either."

However, she said there should be some easy-to-spot differences. 

"With the COVID ... most people have a fever, and you won't have that with allergies," she said. 

Allergy sufferers also should not experience the body aches that may come with the new coronavirus. And Monson said the virus would probably come on quicker than allergies. 

Having seasonal allergies is not necessarily considered an underlying condition. But Monson said many people with allergies also have asthma, which can make recovering from COVID-19 more complicated. 

"We're careful with our asthmatics right now. We want them to stay on their medicines, we want them to contact us if they're having trouble," she said. 

And for people still wanting to get outdoors despite their allergies, Monson had some suggestions: 

  • Take over-the-counter allergy medicine
  • Shower before bed to rinse off pollen particles
  • Keep windows closed, especially at night
  • Do not hang clothes or bed linens on an outdoor clothesline

If people have concerns they may be experiencing symptoms of a resiratory infection rather than just allergies, Monson encourages them to call their doctor to talk it over. 

To see the original story and related reporting, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.