With the virus arriving in the late winter/early spring of 2020, it has been hard for people to know if they have mild symptoms of the disease, or simply have a seasonal illness or allergy due to the number of similar symptoms between the two.
There are a number of common symptoms so it is important to pay close attention to them if they are similar.
Millions of people suffer from allergies induced by seasonal changes, particularly in the spring, affecting a person’s respiratory system. These allergies include pollen allergies, reactions to particular plants or animals.
The main symptoms for these allergies are:
- Sore, itchy and watery eyes
- A cough
- A runny nose
While the Caoronaviruses have been around for some time, the particular strand of the virus, COVID-19 has similar symptoms to that of other respiratory viruses as well as allergies.
- A fever
- A cough (usually dry and continuous)
- Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties
There have been over 150,000 recoveries from the virus which is great news, but because we know so little about the virus so far, it is difficult to say why some people are worse affected than others.
Of course, some factors such as age, health condition and immunity play a role in this, but the virus has been known to cause other health conditions such as Pneumonia, organ failure and in some cases fatality, even in younger, healthier patients.
How to spot the difference
The main differences of allergies and the coronavirus would be a fever and difficulty breathing that are not common symptoms in allergies, so if you have these and other symptoms you are advised to call the nhs 111 service or emergency services if you feel you cannot cope with these symptoms.
Allergies cannot be caught so it is important you are aware of the symptoms you usually get and make sure you self-isolate if you feel they are different to normal.
How can you protect yourself?
It is important that you follow guidelines set out by the government to avoid contracting the virus, whether you suffer from allergies or not.
This means you must wash your hands regularly, especially if you are returning to your home or entering a new place.
We would recommend you invest in a hand sanitiser that has large alcohol content like this one from Hunter Medical that can kill viruses on the hand before they can enter the body.
You should also continue to take your allergy medication if you have any because you may find if you contract the virus, it may help with relieving any discomfort, especially if you have both coronavirus and seasonal allergies.
It is now vital that we engage in proper social distancing, meaning only leaving the house for essential journeys such as to buy food or to get exercise.
Find out more about the government’s guidelines here