Sorting out symptoms: Fall allergies or COVID-19


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It hits you in an instant, and when it does, you know exactly what it is. as ountless people are well-aware when the familiar feeling of allergies strike.

It’s the tickle in the back of your throat, the relentless sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes.

For so many of us who suffer from allergies, the symptoms are constant, annoying and never seem to stop. For six-year-old Braden Chase, it is brutal.

“He’s had allergies since he was a baby, I’m talking like one month old, he’s had issues with allergies, said Tampa mom Heather Carlisle.

She says her son struggles daily. His allergies lately, she tells us, have been off the charts.

“They’re very bad. On a scale of 1 to 10, they’re probably at 11,” Carlisle said.

She told us watching her six-year-old suffer from severe allergy symptoms during a pandemic has been a nerve-racking experience, especially when he sneezes or coughs in public.

She says adults start openly shaming him, thinking he’s infected with COVID-19.

“They’ll back away a little bit. He always has on a mask anyway. You can definitely tell people are like, I heard you cough and sneeze because it seems like the symptoms of coronavirus. It’s a laundry list of symptoms and you don’t know what it could be,” Carlisle explained.

Dr. Paul Nanda is the chief medical officer for TGH Urgent Care Centers in the Tampa Bay area.

8 On Your Side asked him, how can you tell the difference between coronavirus and allergies since the symptoms can be similar. He says there’s one distinct major symptom that sets them apart – a fever.

“The two most common symptoms of COVID are fever and cough,” Dr. Nanda told us. “It is a challenging time for a kid. It is a challenging time for a parent. It is a challenging time for everybody right now.”

While allergies can make you cough with that annoying tickle, Dr. Nanda says that’s usually just postnasal drip. A COVID cough, he explained, is deep in the lungs, and it is persisted.

Dr. Nanda says if you have any fears to contact your physician.


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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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