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Is It Allergies or COVID? Expert Shows How to Tell the Difference

MONDAY, April 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Seasonal allergies are striking this year at the worst possible time, with the United States in the midst of a fourth wave of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

You’ve got an itchy nose and watery eyes. Or maybe you’ve got a fever and a sore throat. Or you’ve developed a cough and you have trouble breathing.

Is it COVID-19, or just your usual allergies?

Confusion is perfectly understandable because “a lot of the symptoms are overlapping for mild COVID and seasonal allergies,” said Dr. Gregory Levitin, an otolaryngologist at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, in New York City.

And this allergy season already is shaping up to be pretty severe, according to Dr. Stanley Fineman, a past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

“We’ve had an unusually bad pollen season,” said Fineman, an allergy specialist in Marietta, Ga. “This year we’ve already had 20 days with the pollen count over 1,000,” about as many as during most full spring allergy seasons.

An itchy, runny nose or itchy, watery eyes are the best sign that you’re suffering from seasonal allergies rather than COVID-19, Levitin said.

This article originally appeared in HealthDay News, read more here.