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What’s the difference between seasonal allergies and COVID-19?


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Seasonal allergy season coinciding with the COVID-19 outbreak could cause confusion for some patients.

Both allergies and COVID-19 can cause coughs and shortness of breath.

But Dr. Tricia Derges, with Ozark Valley Medical Clinic, says the main difference is mucus.

“You can get coughing between the two, you’re not going to see sneezing really with COVID-19, you’re not going to see fevers either with allergies, you’re going to have a runny nose,” Dr. Derges said.

Derges says doctors have also been seeing patients with COVID-19 have stomach problems.

As well as aches and pains, two symptoms that are not typically associated with allergies.

But if you’re still unsure call a doctor to get checked out.

Derges says if do you see someone blowing their nose or sneezing in public don’t freak out.

For those that do suffer from allergies this time of year the best thing to do is take medicine, keep your windows closed, and avoid the outdoors for a little while.

“Stay inside, which we’re having to do anyway so I think that will automatically fix some of the allergies problems or maybe we’ll have a better allergy season this year because of that,” Derges said.

This graph goes over different symptom signs (Provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment:

FeverCommon (100F or higher)RareHigh (100-102F)
lasts 3-4 days
Gen. Aches and PainsSometimesSlightCommon, often SevereNo
FatigueSometimes SlightCommon, often SevereSometimes
Extreme ExhaustionSometimes (progresses slowly)NeverCommon (early start)No
Stuffy NoseRareCommonSometimesCommon
Sore ThroatRareCommonCommonNo
CoughCommonMild to ModerateCommon, can be SevereSometimes
Shortness of BreathIn serious infectionsRareRareCommon
Runny NoseRareCommonSometimesCommon

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