Health Advice



How to tell the difference between coronavirus and seasonal allergy symptoms

Kiersten Willis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Health & Fitness

ATLANTA -- The coronavirus pandemic has emerged as spring arrives and allergy season begins. With that in mind, should you be worried that going "achoo" could be an indicator of COVID-19?

Here's the difference between allergy symptoms and those of the coronavirus disease 2019.

What is the new coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. The novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, is a new disease and is caused by a coronavirus that was not previously seen in humans. Defined as an infectious disease by the World Health Organization, it had been unknown before WHO said it originated as an "outbreak" that "began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019."

What are seasonal allergies?

The National Institutes of Health noted seasonal allergies, or allergic rhinitis, is common and affects 8% of adults and children in the U.S. Also known as hay fever, allergies cause an immune response in the body to something that causes no problems for most people -- pollen from plants.


If you have coronavirus symptoms ...

WHO stated they are typically mild and begin gradually. Common symptoms include:

Some people may have these symptoms:

According to WHO, some people become infected but don't feel unwell or experience any symptoms. Around 80% of people recover from the disease without any special treatment needed. Still, about one in six people becomes seriously ill from COVID-19 and experiences breathing difficulties. Serious illnesses are more likely to occur in people who fall in the CDC's higher-risk group: people who have serious chronic medical conditions, including lung disease, diabetes and heart disease and older adults. Should people experience difficulty breathing, cough or a fever, they should get medical attention.


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