Is it seasonal allergies or coronavirus? Health officials note key symptom differences

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FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) — It’s the first full week of spring and seasonal allergies may be kicking in.

“We’re definitely seeing an increasing number of people who experiencing symptoms that they would describe as their typical allergy symptoms,” Frederick County Health Officer, Dr. Barbara Brookmyer explained.

But health officials are addressing concerns against stigmatizing a sneeze for something more serious.

“Not every sneeze, not every runny nose is related to the novel coronavirus,” Brookmyer said.

But what are some symptoms that separate annual allergies from COVID-19? Among the most common symptoms of the coronavirus is a fever, and that’s also a symptom those with allergies won’t experience.

“When you have allergies, there shouldn’t be a fever,” Brookmyer said, “If you have a fever, it’s probably not allergies.”

Brookmyer adds that key symptom differences also include a dry cough and shortness of breath.

“When someone who normally during allergy season does not experience shortness of breath, then that would be more concerning that they would have something other than allergies,” Brookmyer said.

Ultimately, people should consult their healthcare provider to discern the root of their symptoms, or seek emergency medical care if necessary.

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