Coronavirus or allergies? How to tell the difference


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Spring is here and that means allergy season is in full bloom, and some are wondering if their cough is allergies, or something more serious.

As concerns grow over the coronavirus, medical experts are asking people to avoid making unnecessary trips to the emergency room.

“In people with allergies, it can be dry, because it’s mostly a tickle in the back of the throat. They may try to clean their throat many times and cough,” said Dr. Rabih Bechara, a Professor of Medicine for the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care with Augusta University.

Allergy symptoms include a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and it tends to be worsened by exposure to pollen.

COVID-19 symptoms can be more serious and acute onset, according to Dr. Bechara.

“I would be more concerned if the symptoms are high fever, shortness of breath, including chest tightness, chest pressure, chest pain. So if the symptoms are more related to the lungs and respiratory system, I would definitely be more concerned,” said Dr. Bechara.

According to the CDC, if you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

For more information from the CDC about symptoms click here.


Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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