The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Maine is working to make sure people know the difference between seasonal allergies and COVID-19.
What’s going on?
Maine Medical Center epidemiologist Dr. August Valenti recently told WGME that there is a difference between COVID-19 and allergies. He highlighted three main symptoms to be aware of when you’re trying to identify the difference.
- “The big three most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, chills and a dry cough,” he told WGME. “We don’t generally see fever or chills with allergies unless the patient is infected.”
Meanwhile, he said people who suffer from allergies get conjunctivitis or pink eye. He said that this is a rare symptom of COVID-19, though.
Allergies vs. COVID-19
The novel coronavirus first popped up in the United States during the late winter, early spring of 2020, right around when people started getting seasonal allergies, as I wrote about for the Deseret News. At the time, National Jewish Health released a breakdown of different symptoms that can explain the differences between common cold, influenza or COVID-19.
Dr. Lisa Lockerd Maragakis, senior director of infection prevention at the Johns Hopkins Health Systems in Baltimore, Maryland, wrote back in fall 2020 that people should consult their doctors if they’re feeling any sort of sickness.
- “Unfortunately, the short answer is, you can’t,” she wrote. “If you come down with any kind of illness, the best thing to do is call your doctor, explain your symptoms and self-quarantine until you know what’s going on.”
- “Because some coronavirus symptoms are similar to those of bronchitis, the common cold, the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), this year it is likely that a test will be necessary to tell the difference,” she wrote.