Doctors say seasonal allergies have similar symptoms to COVID-19

Published: Apr. 10, 2020 at 5:37 PM EDT
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Coughing, sneezing, and runny noses are all pretty common this time of year in Michigan and not necessarily because of Coronavirus.

April is the start of allergy season and lasts until June.

Seasonal allergies and COVID-19 share a lot of the same symptoms, especially coughing.

But doctors say there's one tell-tale sign that someone has the virus, which is a much more serious situation.

Dr. Aaron Abramovitz with Sparrow Hospital said, "Runny nose, the dry cough, feeling of congestion, Coronavirus can cause all of those things."

Coronavirus and allergies can affect people in a lot of the same ways, but there's one important symptom that separates the annoying allergies from the potentially deadly infection.

Dr. Abramovitz says seasonal allergies don't cause fevers.

COVID-19 causes a fever with such regularity that Ingham County has ordered businesses to screen employees for one every day.

Dr. Abramovitz said, "97 percent of people develop a fever. If somebody says 'I'm not really feeling good. I'm not breathing well. Is it my asthma?' Do you have a fever? Do you have a new cough? Those kinds of things."

Trouble breathing is also a common symptom of asthma.

Experts say it's one of the underlying health conditions that can make people more vulnerable to COVID -19.

10 percent of Michiganders have asthma.

Doctors suggest reducing outside exposure to inhalers.

Dr. Abramovitz said, "They need to be very careful to keep their inhalers clean and medications clean because that's something that goes into your mouth all the time."

And whether it's asthma or allergies, doctors said to try to keep those symptoms in check.

Dr. Abramovitz said, "So encourage people with seasonal allergies is stay on their current medication to minimize their allergic symptoms as much as possible too."

The reason doctors say that is because they believe allergies can make your respiratory system weaker, possibly making it easier for you to catch Coronavirus or make the symptoms worse.

Anyone with questions should talk to their doctor and keep a record of their symptoms for a few days before an exam.

That information will help doctors decide if you need to be tested for allergies or COVID-19.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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