Coronavirus symptoms (covid-19)
- Cases can be life threatening
- The most concerning symptom: shortness of breath
- Coronavirus Risk Factors
- Past Coronaviruses
- Allergies have chronic symptoms
- Despite symptoms, it’s not the flu
- Coronavirus Diagnosis
- Coronavirus Vaccine
- Coronavirus Transmission
- COVID-19 may be a vascular disease more than a respiratory one
Cases can be life threatening
The most concerning symptom: shortness of breath
Allergies have chronic symptoms
COVID-19, like the flu or common cold, is an acute illness, meaning people feel fine until symptoms start showing up.
Allergies, on the other hand, “are usually chronic, presenting with symptoms off and on for weeks, months, or even years,” Dr. David M. Cutler, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, told Healthline.
Experts also noted that, in most parts of the country, it’s not allergy season yet.
“Allergies should not cause a fever or body aches,” Arthur said. “Generally, no cough unless you have a lot of nasal drainage.”
Allergies also may cause wheezing, she added, especially in people with asthma.
“Allergy symptoms tend to vary with the environment: worsening with exposure to dust, pollen, or animal dander, whereas cold symptoms tend to persist regardless of time of day, weather, locality, or other environmental factors,” Cutler said.
Also, as with COVID-19, “Colds are more likely to have generalized symptoms like fever, headache, and body aches, whereas allergies usually affect only the respiratory tract,” Cutler said. “Allergy symptoms tend to improve with antihistamine and other allergy-specific medication. Colds are more likely to respond to decongestants, acetaminophen, fluids, and rest.”
With some schools reopening, the CDC issued new guidelines in mid-August on the differences in symptoms between COVID-19 and seasonal allergies.
The agency noted that things such as shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, headache, and sore throat can be symptoms of either COVID-19 or allergies.
Itchy eyes and sneezing are generally only symptoms of allergies.
Fever, muscle aches, a loss of taste or smell, nausea, and diarrhea are associated with COVID-19 and not allergies.
The CDC recommends that all people wear cloth face masks in public places where it’s difficult to maintain a 6-foot distance from others. This will help slow the spread of the virus from people without symptoms or people who do not know they have contracted the virus. Cloth face masks should be worn while continuing to practice physical distancing. Instructions for making masks at home can be found here. Note: It’s critical to reserve surgical masks and N95 respirators for healthcare workers.
Despite symptoms, it’s not the flu
COVID-19 is not the flu.
As one of a class of pathogens known as coronaviruses, it’s actually more closely related to the common cold than the seasonal flu.
However, despite some overlap, the typical symptoms of COVID-19 are more similar to the flu (fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue) than the common cold (runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, congestion, slight body aches, mild headache, sneezing, low-grade fever, malaise).
“In terms of differentiating between flu and COVID-19, it can be almost impossible to distinguish,” Dr. Jake Deutsch, co-founder and clinical director of Cure Urgent Care centers and Specialty Infusion in New York. “That’s why people are recommended to have flu vaccinations so it can at least… minimize the risk of flu in light of everything else. Fevers, body aches, coughing, sneezing could all be equally attributed to them both, so it really means that if there’s a concern for flu, there’s a concern for COVID-19.”
If you have a mild case of COVID-19, the flu, or a cold, treatment is geared toward management of symptoms, said Cutler.
“Generally, acetaminophen is recommended for fevers,” he said. “Cough drops and cough syrups can also help keep mucus secretions thinner. If there is associated nasal congestion, antihistamines may be useful.”
Share on PinterestDesign by Ruth Basagoitia