Allergies or COVID-19? Here's how to tell the difference

With high pollen counts in the area, some are finding it hard to be sure.

Posted: Apr 9, 2020 6:18 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2020 6:18 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- With pollen counts rising to high levels, many are wondering -- is it allergies or coronavirus?

KEZI 9 News reached out to experts to help you tell the difference.

If you have allergies, you most likely experience sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, watery and itchy eyes, ear congestion and postnasal drainage.

However, some other symptoms of allergies overlap with those of COVID-19.

If you have a cough or shortness of breath, those can be symptoms of both.

However, Candice Rohr with the Allergy and Asthma Center told KEZI News that you don't get a fever from allergies.

Rohr said if you usually have allergies, you should take your medication as normal to minimize or eliminate your symptoms, which won't happen if you have coronavirus.

“If they take a turn for the worst, you’ll have more of a sore throat, more discomfort in your sinuses, even more fatigue. I would think you'd be looking at more COVID-like symptoms,” Ruhr said.

She said coronavirus also usually causes a sore throat, which is unusual with allergies. It's possible that you feel tired due to allergies but with COVID-19 you are extremely fatigued and you usually feel that symptom first, she said.

Jason Davis with Lane County Public Health said the warm weather isn't only concerning for those who have allergies but also for those who are practicing social distancing.

"Typically, we would all be outside as much as possible but that poses a problem with our need to continue physical distancing. I talked to Dr. (Patrick) Luedtke earlier today, and he is very worried about our ability to maintain our physical distancing as we are in such a good place,” Davis said.

Davis said our social distancing during the governor's order has made a huge impact in our progress and it would be a shame to see people forget all these guidelines because of the great weather.

He encourages everyone to continue staying six feet from one another and wearing masks to help stop the spread. He also wants the community to keep in mind that we are seeing high tree pollen counts and grass pollen activity as well.

If you are allergic to trees or grass pollen and are experiencing any symptoms, take your medications as normal and contact your health provider if it worsens, experts advise.

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Data is updated nightly.

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