Distinguishing Between Covid-19 And Seasonal Allergies

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : March 1, 2022

The world’s battle with Covid-19 has been ongoing for well past 2 years now. Even though increased vaccination uptake all over the world has significantly reduced the life-threatening risks, people have forgotten what it’s like to live in a world free of coronavirus disease, even more so because of the new mutant variants of Covid-19 that keep triggering the world’s fear time and again. 

Distinguishing Between Covid-19 And Seasonal Allergies

Because of the fear the peak episodes of this pandemic have instilled in our minds, it is very natural to assume every little sneeze, runny nose or fever is a symptom of Covid-19 although that might not be the case every time. Some of the symptoms could be due to seasonal allergies as well.

Distinguishing Between Covid-19 And Seasonal Allergies

With the spring season around, a lot of symptoms could be caused by It is very easy to confuse between the two due to almost similar symptoms. However, it is important to understand how to distinguish between the symptoms of Covid-19 and seasonal allergies to avoid panic amongst self and people around.

The human body has a natural defense mechanism against the entry of any foreign particles that starts from the first line of defense including the skin and nose. If any foreign particle succeeds in passing this, the body naturally enters into the warrior mode by activating its immune system.

In the case of Covid-19 infection, this foreign particle is the Covid-19 virus while in the case of an allergy, it could be any particle-like pollen, mold, or dust that is capable of triggering the body’s immune response to fight against their presence. Such particles that stimulate an allergic reaction are called allergens. The reason why allergies happen only to some people is that their immune system is much more sensitive to the allergens that otherwise rarely cause any effect on others.

The major difference between an allergy and Covid-19 is what causes it, even though the initial symptoms of the two might appear to be drastically similar. Covid-19 infection is caused by the virus belonging to the SARS Cov-2 family while an allergy could be caused by anything including pollen grains, dust particles, mold, and animal dander.

Another important difference is that Covid-19 is contagious and may spread to other people through various modes of transmission like air and saliva, while allergies are not contagious and remain confined to the body of the affected person even if they sneeze or cough like a Covid-19 infected person. 

One of the common ways of knowing whether you are affected by the coronavirus or seasonal allergy is noticing the symptoms. Covid-19 is more likely to cause a runny or stuffed nose while allergies rarely cause such symptoms although sneezing is much more prominent in allergic reactions, although the Omicron variant does cause sneezing.

Loss of smell and taste are very characteristic to Covid-19 and must be taken seriously as soon as a person feels a difference in the way their food tastes or the surrounding smells while allergies don’t cause any such symptom. The rise in body temperature is also a major symptom of Covid-19, while allergies are rarely known to cause any fever even if pollen allergy is commonly known as hay fever. 

The level of treatment required for Covid-19 and allergies is also different. Allergic reactions are caused by a chemical called histamine that is released when the body is exposed to allergen particles and it is the histamine that causes all the symptoms.

Anti-histamines are proven to be the most effective treatment for allergies. But Covid-19 is caused by a virus, hence it requires greater health consideration and treatment with antibiotics, particularly for people with already weak immune systems or pre-existing co-morbidities like diabetes, heart disease, or obesity. 

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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