The coronavirus has some telltale signs that help distinguish it from seasonal allergies. Though there is some overlap in symptoms, fever and chills rarely occur with allergies.
Because COVID-19 affects the functioning of the lungs, people with poorly-controlled asthma can develop serious complications when infected with the virus. The best thing for people who have known allergies or asthma is to keep their symptoms under control, avoid known triggers and follow all coronavirus-related precautions.
ALLERGIES AND ASTHMA
Spring allergy seasons lasts until early summer in many areas of the United States, including the Philadelphia region. High levels of pollen and mold are usually the most common culprits.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itchy eyes or nose, sneezing, running nose, a wet cough and wheezing or tightness in the chest.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, allergies are the immune system’s response to an environmental trigger such as pollen, dust, mold, pet dander or certain foods.
Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the lungs and requires ongoing management. An asthma attack occurs when the lungs become inflamed, constricting the airway.
Asthma symptoms – difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest – are triggered by allergens or irritants that enter the lungs. But not everyone with asthma has allergies. Other asthma triggers include tobacco smoke, dust mites, cockroach droppings, air pollution, strong odors or fumes and intense exercise.
WHEN A COUGH COULD BE COVID-19
Allergies and asthma symptoms don’t usually include a fever. But most people with COVID-19 experience periods of high fever, especially at night.
While a headache and sore throat can be a sign of allergies or COVID-19, aches and pains aren’t normally associated with allergies or asthma.
“Seasonal asthma during the spring may be related to tree and grass pollen, and may also be coupled with allergies in nose, throat, eyes and ears,” according to The Asthma Center. “With those individuals having typical allergy symptoms in the context of cough and even shortness of breath without fever, the latter symptoms are most likely allergy and asthma and not coronavirus.”
Sneezing and a congested nose generally are not associated with a COVID-19 infection, either. But the loss of the sense of smell can occur with both allergies and COVID-19.
Anyone who has a cough that is not responding to allergy or asthma medications, should call their health care provider immediately. They also should do so if they develop an accompanying fever.
Medical reference: phillyvoice