Seasonal allergies such as hay fever affect millions of people worldwide, every year. The common symptoms of a seasonal allergy are runny eyes, flu, sore and itchy throat, and cough. However this time the situation is different as coronavirus pandemic has shaken the whole world. Surprisingly, seasonal allergies and coronavirus share some similar symptoms which could confuse any person, if he has coronavirus or just hay fever?
The spring season might not be favorable for everyone. It is particularly harmful to people who have a pollen allergy, also termed as hay fever. This time, pollen season and coronavirus pandemic has matched their timelines and health experts believe that it is a worrisome situation for allergic people.
It is extremely confusing as it is not easy to differentiate between hay fever and coronavirus symptoms. Kathy Przywara from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that
“Everyone is sort of analyzing every sneeze and cough right now.”
The common symptoms of hay fever include coughing, sneezing, runny nose but they are not the characteristic symptoms of COVID-19. The coronavirus patients experience difficulty breathing and fever too. But hay fever doesn’t actually case a fever. Still, allergy patients are confused because the deadly onset of coronavirus is scary and dangerous.
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People are hiding their cough and sneeze to avoid the suspicions of their friends, family, and colleagues even from the passers-by. At online forums, the allergy patients have shared that the situation is so uncertain that they don’t know whether to use anti-histamines or contact CDC for coronavirus testing.
The coronavirus symptoms could be mild or moderate that typically vanish on their own if a person has good immunity. The risk is somehow higher for older people and people with certain medical problems which reduces their immunity and allows the virus to prevail in their bodies.
Dr. Laura Fisher, a certified allergist advises all allergy patients to consider keeping their medicines with them and spend most of the time indoors. Dr. Fisher is also the current president of the “Pennsylvania Allergy and Asthma Association”. She says; “I think people are more afraid of catching it, more afraid of going out and getting it from the grocery store or drive-thru, than they are of their usual symptoms being COVID.”
The biggest difference in the symptoms of coronavirus and hay fever is the “fever”. Seasonal allergies don’t result in fever but coronavirus typically shows up causing an extremely high fever in its targets. Sneezing without fever or sore throat shows that you are having an allergic attack and not the coronavirus symptoms. The sneezing in corona patients is somewhat more infrequent sneezes, followed by a dry cough and high fever.
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But it doesn’t mean that a person can not have coronavirus and allergy attacks both at a time. Allergic patients are not generally immune to this novel coronavirus. If someone is showing allergy-like symptoms it is necessary to pay attention to them and check their type, occurrence, and severity. Also, check for more symptoms, typically that is more characteristic for coronavirus such as fever. If the regular anti allergies aren’t helping to make some feel better, it is a sign to look for more symptoms before reaching to any conclusion.
See if you feel better using anti-histamines. If not, look for other coronavirus related symptoms. Avoid going out in public to reduce the allergy attacks and, meeting possibly infected people hence protecting themselves from coronavirus pandemic and seasonal allergies both.