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The differences between Covid-19 symptoms and seasonal allergies

CAPE TOWN – Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports on the difference between Covid-19 symptoms and seasonal allergies.

Spring kicks off leaving many suffering from seasonal allergies with the spike in pollen from blooming flowers and trees, but as the number of Covid-19 infections continues to rise in South Africa, identifying the difference in symptoms may prove to be very important.

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a report called ‘Covid-19 and Seasonal Allergies FAQs’ where the organisation covers the important differentiating factors between Covid-19 and seasonal allergy, in many ways, share similar symptoms.

“Covid-19 is a contagious respiratory illness caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19). Seasonal allergies triggered by airborne pollen can lead to seasonal allergic rhinitis, which affects the nose and sinuses, and seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, which affects the eyes,” said CDC.

The organisation points out that Covid-19 and seasonal allergies may present themselves in similar ways and in some cases the only way to really know is to test yourself but there are key differences, for example, Covid-19 commonly causes fever which is not a common symptom for seasonal allergies.

Picture: CDC

In the report CDC covers other points too, mentioning that there is not enough scientific information proving that having seasonal allergies may put you at higher risk of contracting Covid-19 or contribute towards severe symptoms if infected.

CDC also points out that wearing face masks may also help protect yourself against Covid-19 and seasonal allergies too by preventing larger pollen particles from being inhaled and recommends that masks be washed after each use to prevent inhaling pollen on the outside of the mask.

Although this shouldn’t be your only measure to prevent seasonal allergies as smaller pollen particles could still find their way through your mask at times, CDC suggests in order to predict yourself further that those who suffer from seasonal allergies to limit their time outside, avoid activities that stir up pollen, such as mowing lawns or raking leaves or when indoors to keep your space and air clean with comfortable temperatures using air conditioners and fans.

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