How do I know if I have allergies or COVID-19?
When you wake up feeling a little under the weather, it can be easy to start imagining the worst. Even more so amid a pandemic. Is the tickle in your throat COVID-19? Maybe just seasonal allergies? Rather than let your mind race, use these tips to help differentiate the two illnesses.
Check your temperature
Allergies generally don't cause a fever, whereas COVID-19 does in most people. That's why one of the quickest ways to rule out COVID-19 is by taking your temperature. If it's high, especially more than 100 degrees, you should contact a healthcare professional for further direction.
Note the rest of your symptoms
Both COVID-19 and allergies have unique characteristics that can help pinpoint the nature of what's making you ill.
Common COVID-19 symptoms, most of which start gradually and get worse:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches or pain
- New loss of smell or taste
Common allergy symptoms, most of which are aggravated when you're outside:
- Itchy eyes and/or nose
- Clear, runny nose
- Sore throat (if you have a lot of congestion in your sinuses and drainage in the back of your throat)
Note: The list of symptoms caused by COVID-19 continues to grow as we learn more about the disease, and some of them can overlap with allergy symptoms. For example, patients with COVID-19 occasionally experience congestion or a runny nose. However, in these cases, they often also have one or more of the most common COVID-19 symptoms listed above (e.g., congestion and a fever or a runny nose and a fever).
Protect yourself from COVID-19
If you’re 12 or older, you’re eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. Many opportunities for vaccination exist through Gundersen and our community partners.