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Do I’ve COVID or hay fever? Right here’s how you can inform

With heat climate within the northern hemisphere, many individuals will probably be affected by pollen allergic reactions. Additionally known as hay fever, this frequent situation impacts tens of millions of individuals all over the world throughout the spring, summer time and autumn months.

In the meantime, COVID circumstances are excessive. Though seasonal allergic reactions are commonplace for many individuals, there’s important overlap between COVID and hay fever signs. This might lead individuals to mistake COVID for allergic reactions, in flip exacerbating the unfold of COVID in the neighborhood.

Notably, we’re now typically seeing milder COVID signs in contrast with earlier within the pandemic. This is because of a mixture of things together with elevated immunity from vaccines and prior infections, and the evolution of latest variants of the virus.

In fact, it’s a great factor that folks typically aren’t getting as sick with COVID. On the similar time, this might truly enhance confusion between COVID and different sicknesses or allergic reactions.

The most recent knowledge from the UK’s ZOE app, which tracks individuals’s self-reported COVID signs, exhibits probably the most generally reported signs of COVID at the moment are a sore throat, adopted by headache, cough, blocked nostril and runny nostril. These signs can all have an effect on individuals with pollen allergic reactions. So it’s very attainable somebody would possibly dismiss COVID because the onset of their ordinary allergic reactions.

COVID signs vs hay fever signs

Though there are a number of overlapping signs, there are a couple of key signs that will aid you distinguish between COVID and hay fever.

Itchy eyes: Itchy, purple, watery or puffy eyes are a standard signal of pollen allergic reactions, however aren’t related to COVID.

Fever or chills: A excessive temperature shouldn’t be an indication of pollen allergic reactions, but it surely’s a reasonably frequent COVID symptom. So when you have a fever, together with different signs, you’ll have COVID or one other respiratory an infection.

Learn extra:
How have you learnt in case your youngster has hay fever and the way do you have to deal with it?

Diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea: Diarrhoea particularly could be an early signal of COVID, beginning on the primary day of an infection and sometimes getting worse from there. It’s not related to pollen allergic reactions.

Muscle ache: COVID-related muscle pains can vary from being gentle to fairly debilitating, particularly once they happen alongside fatigue. Muscle aches and pains aren’t related to pollen allergic reactions.

Variations may also be seen inside some signs of pollen allergic reactions and COVID. For instance, COVID-related coughing is often persistent and dry, whereas a cough related to hay fever is extra “tickly”, attributable to mucus from the nostril presenting within the throat. Equally, the lack of scent and style in pollen allergic reactions outcomes from a blocked nostril, so when you have this symptom with out a blocked nostril, it may very well be extra prone to be COVID.

A fever isn’t a symptom of hay fever, however might point out COVID or one other respiratory an infection.
Floor Image/Shutterstock

In case your pollen allergy signs appear worse than ordinary, or you might have a number of of the distinguishing signs above, it’s advisable to take a fast COVID check.

Defending your self

Controlling allergy signs may also help to forestall absences from work and faculty, and probably facilitate earlier identification of COVID signs, together with testing. Additional, though there’s no hyperlink between allergic reactions and elevated threat of COVID, pollen publicity can truly weaken the physique’s immunity in opposition to COVID.

When you’ve got a historical past of pollen allergic reactions, be certain that your remedy plan is present and that you’ve got medicines available for while you want them. Pollen publicity could be diminished by avoiding outside actions when the pollen rely is excessive, conserving home windows closed, altering garments after being exterior, and utilizing an air air purifier.

Learn extra:
Pollen can elevate your threat of COVID-19 – and the season is getting longer because of local weather change

One of the best methods to forestall COVID an infection proceed to incorporate vaccination, sporting appropriately-fitting face coverings, and bodily distancing. If you happen to’re on the lookout for the most effective of each worlds, a particle filter masks could be protecting in opposition to each pollen and COVID.

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