Spring is here, which means that allergies are on the rise. But with COVID-19 cases increasing again, you may be asking yourself if you have the virus or if it’s just allergies.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that allergy affects 60 million Americans each year. Public health officials last week reported that coronavirus infections have increased by 40% in Los Angeles County this allergy season.
Pair that with gusty winds picking up in the next few days, and you’ll be asking yourself if those sniffles are something to worry about.
“Symptoms of allergies can definitely mimic the symptoms of COVID,”KTLA was told by the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
According to the CDC both symptoms are similar.
However, they can also be very different. COVID-19 symptoms that are not common in allergies include: body aches, fever, chills, loss of taste or scent, shortness of breath, and body aches. (Seasonal allergies don’t cause shortness of breath unless a person has a respiratory condition like asthma that can be triggered by pollen).
Meanwhile allergies can cause itchy or watery eyes, which COVID-19 doesn’t commonly do.
Below is a CDC chart that allows you to compare symptoms of COVID-19 with seasonal allergies.
Because seasonal allergies and COVID-19 share many symptoms, it is recommended that you take a coronavirus (virus) test.
“If people have new onset cough, or other symptoms of COVID we always recommend testing and isolating until you have the results of the tests,” L.A. County According to Public Health officials.
If you’re sick, you’re advised to isolate from others and test yourself for COVID-19. Consult a healthcare provider if you are experiencing severe symptoms or have other medical conditions that may affect your immune system.
According to The Weather Channel, climate change could lead to higher pollen levels and longer pollen seasons. This could make it more common for people to develop allergies. CDC.
The good news is that outdoor allergies can be reduced if face masks are worn correctly and kept clean, according to the department.