allergy vs covid sysmptoms

Allergy Symptoms vs. COVID-19 Symptoms: How to Know the Difference

During the COVID-19 pandemic, developing certain allergy symptoms such as cough can be very concerning.

To the untrained eyes, these symptoms can appear to be a COVID-19 indicator. Indeed, allergies can cause symptoms that closely resemble those of COVID-19.

If a person has never experienced an allergy symptom before he is likely to mistake it for COVID-19.

In this post, we are pleased to discuss the difference between the symptoms of allergies and the coronavirus. 

Read on to find out.  

  • Allergies are the body’s immune response to a foreign body. The response is localized. For example, someone with an allergy is likely to experience the symptoms in the eyes, nose, or throat. COVID-19 causes a wide-body response. A person that is infected may have a fever, sore throat, or body aches.

  • Allergies cause sneezing. When you are allergic to a foreign substance such as pollen, your body creates a respiratory immune response. The mucus membrane in your nose becomes inflamed leading to a condition known as rhinitis. Rhinitis leads to sneezing and having a stuffy and runny nose. COVID-19 does not cause sneezing.

  • Those infected with COVID-19 normally run a high body temperature. This is the body’s way of combating and initiating a protective response against the virus. Allergies do not cause fever. This is a clear distinctive symptom that can differentiate the two medical conditions.

  • Allergies cause itchiness. The itchiness is centred on the eyes and the back of the throat. Note that this type of itchiness is not a sign of illness. COVID-19 does not cause itchiness. When one is feeling itchy, he is likely to have an allergy than COVID-19.

  • Those with allergies may be asthmatic which can lead to chest tightness, breathing difficulty, and wheezing breath. COVID-19 patients can have chest tightness and breathing difficulties but most of the time none of this is accompanied by wheezing.

  • COVID-19 causes fatigue. Allergies do not cause fatigue.

  • Allergy symptoms can be differentiated from COVID-19 symptoms based on what causes them. Allergy symptoms are mostly caused by the immune system reacting to foreign bodies such as pollen, mold, and dust. A virus belonging to the family of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) causes COVID-19.

  • Allergies are not contagious. One with allergy symptoms can go about without fear of infecting others. COVID-19 is highly contagious. It can be spread easily among people through droplets when one sneezes, coughs or speaks. The person nearby can inhale these droplets. This is one of the reasons social distancing is encouraged.

  • Key symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, intense fatigue, body aches, and loss of smell. Allergy symptoms are sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy or watery eyes, itchy nose or ears, post-nasal drip, and mild fatigue.

  • Symptoms of allergies are likely to manifest minutes or hours after contact with an allergic substance. Symptoms of COVID-19 take between 2-14 days after exposure to manifest.

  • Allergy symptoms are long-lasting. The symptoms can be seen for many weeks or months depending on the allergy and sensitivity of the allergy patient. COVID-19’s symptoms like other viruses are not long-lasting. The symptoms only last for a short period before going away.
  • Allergies do not make people feel itchy. The itchy feeling is a symptom associated with viral infections such as the coronavirus.

  • People with allergies have a history of seasonal allergies. People with COVID-19 do not have a history of seasonal COVID-19 contraction. 


Similarities between Allergy and COVID-19 Symptoms

Notwithstanding the fact that allergies and coronavirus have varying symptoms, they share certain similar symptoms. These include:

  • Short breath
  • Sore throat
  • Tiredness
  • Dry cough
  • Headache

For your easy reference, please check out the table below for the symptoms of cold, flu and allergy. 

Allergy vs covid symptoms

In a Nutshell: What to Do If You Have the Aforementioned Symptoms

If you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should visit an allergist or healthcare provider for allergy testing or COVID-19 testing so that they will be able to assess and diagnose the condition.

A test is crucial to find out the next course of action and determine whether an allergy treatment or COVID-19 treatment is appropriate for the patient.

For those who live in London, please feel free to visit Wellness People or make an appointment with us for a professional consultation.  


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