Doctors say difference between COVID-19 and seasonal allergies is noticeable

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 7:18 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - As the pandemic continues, not only are we running into flu season, but also the fall allergy season. How you can be sure whether that runny nose is COVID-19 or just allergies.

“You’ve got allergies, the COVID, and then the flu that we’re in the flu season," said board certified ER doctor and President of Trusted ER, Dr. Harvey Castro.

For some, autumn is a time of sniffles and sneezing between seasonal allergies and flu season. This fall we’re adding COVID to the mix.

“When you start talking about fever now we start thinking more COVID and we start thinking more influenza. And those symptoms are more specific which makes it a little bit harder because now we’re dealing with 3 diseases," said Castro.

With symptoms that mimic each other Castro says it’s possible to tell the difference.

“As a physician, thank God we have tools. And those tools are we can test for COVID, we can test for influenza," said Castro.

He says the best way to be proactive this season is to be knowledgeable. Know the symptoms and differences between each illness. The CDC shares a diagram on their website showing the similarities and differences of COVID and allergies; symptoms like cough, fatigue, sore throat, and runny nose.

“If you know for sure you’re allergic to something then you can be proactive and stay away from whatever that substance is. And so I encourage people to go see their allergist especially if they’re having allergies," said Castro.

When in doubt, Castro says to err on the side of caution and continue to follow CDC guidelines. However, it is possible to have symptoms for more than one.

“And who’s to say you don’t have all three unfortunately you get across someone with influenza and COVID and you happen to have seasonal allergies, in theory you could have all three," said Castro.

Copyright 2020 KXII. All rights reserved.

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