View All Posts

May 04

Is it an allergy, a cold, the flu or the novel coronavirus?

Posted on May 4, 2020 at 10:09 pm by Clay Curtin

There are many similar symptoms of the cold, flu, allergies, and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Sometimes it may be difficult to determine what you have.

Feeling sick in any sort of way right now can be scary. As we start the month of May, with blooming trees and pollen filling the air, many of us might be thinking “Do I have allergies or is this the start of COVID-19 symptoms”? With allergies you will usually experience itchiness and COVID-19 presents shortness of breath, fever and dry cough. If you have the flu or cold, does not cause shortness of breath unless it progresses to pneumonia.

At the end of April, the CDC expanded the list of COVID -19 symptoms to include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. If you have any of these symptoms or feel that you may have COVID-19, please call your doctor. Always call ahead before seeking medical treatment.

Allergies are typically chronic conditions presenting with symptoms off and on depending perhaps on the season or your environment. Those suffering from allergies deal with itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.

A cold, can make you miserable but is relatively harmless. It usually clears up by itself after a period of time, although it can sometimes lead to a secondary infection, such as an ear infection. Common cold symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat and mild to moderate chest discomfort and cough.

Influenza (flu), can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia and even death. What may seem like a cold could actually be the flu. Symptoms include fever or feverish/chills, cough, muscle or body aches, headache, fatigue, runny or stuffy nose and sore throat.

Reduce the risk of illness by:
  • Wearing a face covering when going out in public
  • Wash your hands often with soap and wash for at-least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face until you can clean your hands
  • Clean home and work surfaces often with disinfectant
  • Maintain social distancing of 6 feet between others
For more information, view the full list of recommendations to prevent getting sick from the CDC.