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Coronavirus: differences between Covid-19 symptoms and allergies

The arrival of Spring means the start of seasonal allergies - a runny nose, coughs and streaming eyes.. but there are many differences in with the Covid-19 virus.

Coronavirus: differences between Covid-19 symptoms and allergies

The start of Spring, especially during the first couple of weeks, triggers the first symptoms of seasonal allergies. When temperatures start to rise, the pollen count also begins to go up but allergy symptoms should not be confused with those associated with the Covid-19 virus. Both conditions have clearly identifiable symptoms, those who are allergic to pollen should not be alarmed when certain signs start to show. 

To put people's minds at ease, the Spanish Allergology and Immunology Clinic (SEAIC) have issued a press release explaining that "allergic patients are not at greater risk of being infected by the Covid-19 virus, but those who suffer from asthma must take extra precautions" and added that "children who suffer from allergies have the same risk of contracting coronavirus as everyone else". 

Symptoms of pollen allergy

An allergy  is the body's immune system's response to foreign bodies known as allergens. They can cause reactions to the nervous system, inflammation or respiratory reactions. It is the body's way of fighting off anything which it considers to be harmful. The most common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:  

  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Mild fever, just above body temperature (36°C)
  • A runny nose
  • Cough

Symptoms of Covid-19 infection

Covid-19 is one of the seven viruses which belong to the coronavirus family and can be passed from person to person. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines it as "an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus". Both the new virus and theillness it causes were unknown before the outbreak in Wuhan, China at the end of December 2019. The most common symptoms include:

  • High fever (body temperature in access of 38°C)
  • Headache
  • Dry cough
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Another reported symptom is loss of smell

Differences between an allergy and Covid-19

With differences between the symptoms associated with both an allergy and Covid-19 explained, we can deduce that they are not the same illness. The symptoms provoked by an allergic reaction do not include a prolonged, high fever, dry cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties - symptoms which are related to a coronavirus infection. Those who are allergic and have begun to show symptoms of their allergies with the change of season are no more at risk of developing coronavirus than anyone else. 


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