How To Tell If It’s Coronavirus Or Seasonal Allergies?
If you want to know how to differentiate between the symptoms of COVID-19 disease / coronavirus infection and seasonal allergies, this is the right video. 10 differential points have been mentioned in the video to distinguish coronavirus infection from seasonal allergies.
In general, symptoms of COVID-19 disease include:
Fever, Cough with or without sputum production and shortness of breath.
Other symptoms are Fatigue, sorethroa, myalgia and arthralgia.
Digestive symptoms: Anorexia, diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal pain.
In general, symptoms of seasonal allergies include:
Sneezing, runny or snuffy nose, watery and itchy eyes, itchy throat and ear canals, ear congestion and postnasal drainage.
Less common symptoms include:
Headache, Shortness of breath, wheeing and coughing.
Why is it important to differentiate between the two:
Its because seasonal allergies peak in the spring, summer and early fall when the certain grasses, trees, weeds and fungi BOOM. This allergy season coincided with the outbreak of COVID-19 disease. Hence, differentiation is VITAL.
Lets begin with the differentiating factors:
1. Fever: It is the biggest differentation between seasonal allergies and novel coronavirus infection. Novel coronavirus infection can cause fever while the seasonal allergies do not.
2. Itchiness: Its another major distinction. Seasonal allergies come with some level of itchiness like itchy eyes, throat or ear canals while COVID-19 do not.
3. Shortness of breath : It is produced when there is infection of lung. Infection of lung is a common feature of coronavirus infection. Around 20% people with COVID-19 disease have shortness of breath. In contrast, seasonal allergies do not produce shortness of breath. There is an exception to this. Allergies can cause shortness of breath if the personn has ASTHMA and allergies triggered it.
4. Sorethroat / bodyache / fatigue : The quick onset of sorethroat, body aches and fatigue is unlikely with allergens. While allergies can cause fatigue, it is very gradual, not like hitting you like a ton of bricks as has been described with viral infection.
5. Production of mucus and runny nose : It is likely to be due to seasonal allergy. Clean mucus production is suggestive of allergy while green or yellow mucus is suggestive of viral infection.
6. Duration : The novel coronavirus infection has symptoms that lasts for a few weeks while the symptoms of seasonal allergies lasts for a season while in some of the cases, can last throughout the year.
7. Aggravating factors : Seasonal allergies are aggravated by certain factors like exposure to pollen, dust, mold and mildew. There is no such factor in case of COVID-19 disease.
8. Past history: Past history of similar illness in the same season is suggestive of seasonal allergies. For example, if you are a typically a spring sufferer, you are likely to suffer this year’s spring season too.
9. Digestive symptoms : Coronavirus infection produce digestive symptoms in around 48.5% of the patients while seasonal allergies do not. Symptoms include, anorexia, diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal pain.
10. Relavent history : In case of coronavirus infection, history of recent travel of yourself or anybody in your home or school or history of living in or travelling in area where the outbreak of coronavirus infection has occurred is important.
That’s it. I hope this video will help you to differentiate symptoms coronavirus infection from the symptoms of seasonal allergies and eventually help reduce anxiety and fear in your minds.
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Dr. Rabindra Tamang
Consultant General Surgeon
Department of Surgery
Koshi Hospital, Nepal
** The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.**