Do I have fall allergies or COVID-19?

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DENVER (KDVR) — Fall is officially here and with it, comes seasonal allergies. From coughing, to sneezing, and even that scratchy throat, how can you tell the difference between your allergies and COVID-19?

The answer might not be as simple as it seems. The easiest way to determine the difference is by getting a COVID-19 test.

According to National Jewish Health Allergist, Flavia Hoyte, MD, “Most people who have allergies know what their allergies feel like and when they tend to peak.”

Another good way to know the difference is that a fever does not accompany allergies. However, you can be sick with COVID-19 and not have a fever.

Here’s a look at symptoms of both COVID-19 and allergies.

Symptoms of allergies

These are the common symptoms of allergies, according to National Jewish Health:

  • Itchy, watery and/or red eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Sneezing
  • Itching of the skin

Some allergy symptoms, like nasal congestion or runny nose, also can be symptoms of viral infections such as a cold or COVID-19.

Allergies generally will not affect the lungs, but can trigger asthma in people with allergic asthma. Allergies also typically do not cause a fever or extreme fatigue, according to the National Jewish Health.

Symptoms of COVID-19


According to the World Health Organization, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue

Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include:

  • Loss of taste or smell,
  • Nasal congestion,
  • Conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes)
  • Sore throat,
  • Headache,
  • Muscle or joint pain,
  • Different types of skin rash,
  • Nausea or vomiting,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Chills or dizziness.

Symptoms of severe COVID‐19 disease include:

  • Shortness of breath,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Confusion,
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest,
  • High temperature (above 38 °C).

Other less common symptoms are:

  • Irritability,
  • Confusion,
  • Reduced consciousness (sometimes associated with seizures),
  • Anxiety,
  • Depression,
  • Sleep disorders,
  • More severe and rare neurological complications such as strokes, brain inflammation, delirium and nerve damage.

This list does not include all possible symptoms.

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