Allergies or Coronavirus: How to tell symptoms apart

Allergies or Coronavirus? How do you tell the symptoms apart?

Spring is in the air and so is the pollen, something you know all too well if you suffer from allergies. It’s always a busy time of year for Dr. Mark Murray, an allergist at the Mississippi Asthma and Allergy Clinic. “This time of year, we’re really starting to see an increase in the number of tree pollen. We’re seeing the cars dusted heavily with the yellow pollen out there, that’s all the oak and pine, and all the tree pollen that’s out, so that will be ramping up for another few weeks, and then we’ll be getting into the grass pollen season in April.”

So just how do you tell the difference between allergy symptoms as opposed to symptoms of the Coronavirus? “What we typically expect to see with our allergy patients would be more itchy eyes sneezing, runny nose, more mild symptoms as far as those things go, although it can trigger some coughing and wheezing as with our asthmatic patients. With Coronavirus, and other infection problems, we typically see more along the lines of fever with the coronavirus in particular. There seems to be some muscle aches and maybe some upset stomach that typically wouldn’t come with allergy problems.”

While allergies are nothing new, this novel Coronavirus is, and it’s changing the way many doctors and medical workers are handling patient care. “What we’ve done here is try to limit our in-person visits. A lot of our follow up visits we can do by phone. We’re trying to stay in touch with our patients, still take care of them like we normally would but doing a lot of telemedicine, visits over the phone and video conferencing to keep up with our patients.”

While there are still plenty of questions about the Coronavirus, seasonal allergy season remains the same as do the differentiating symptoms of both ailments.

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