COVID-19 Symptoms vs. Allergy Symptoms


With the first day of spring in our rearview mirror, many TriState residents know that allergies won’t be far behind. However, this year is shaping up to be very different because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many of us to wonder what are typical allergy symptoms versus COVID-19 symptoms.

The experts at St. Elizabeth Healthcare are here to help you distinguish the difference but caution that if you’re running a fever, you should contact your primary care physician. Allergies are a normal part of life, but the coronavirus could be life-threatening for certain higher-risk patients.

Coronavirus symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of the coronavirus are relatively straightforward:

  • Fever (at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 degrees Celsius))
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms can begin anytime between two to 14 days after you’ve been exposed to the virus.

A majority of coronavirus patients will experience only mild symptoms. However, if you or a loved one is experiencing a high fever, tightening in your chest, difficulty breathing or loss of consciousness, get medical attention right away. These are considered life-threatening COVID-19 symptoms.

If you are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, St. Elizabeth Healthcare is here to help. We suggest calling your doctor’s office for advice or making an appointment online for a virtual visit.

Allergy symptoms 

Did you know more than 50 million Americans are affected by seasonal allergies every year? The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology explains that seasonal allergic rhinitis can occur in the spring, summer or early fall and is typically caused by airborne mold spores and pollen from trees, plants and grass.

Symptoms of seasonal allergies can include:

  • Runny nose
  • Nose congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Watery, red or itchy eyes
  • Itchy nose and roof of the mouth

“It’s important to note that seasonal allergies do not include a fever, which is a hallmark symptom of coronavirus,” says Dr. Viral Patel, a Primary Care Physician at St. Elizabeth Physicians. “Seasonal allergy patients can still get coronavirus, so it’s critical to know the difference between your symptoms.”

Additionally, although the flu season is winding down, people are still getting diagnosed with influenza A and B each day. Call your physician’s office for instructions on if you should get tested for the flu and how to manage your symptoms.

Virtual healthcare visits

At St. Elizabeth Healthcare, your health is always our top priority. During the coronavirus pandemic, our regular physician offices will be utilizing virtual video visits to ensure that we can provide the safest, most effective care to our patients.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call your doctor’s office. We have also compiled helpful tip sheet and a how-to videowith instructions on how to set up your upcoming visit on your phone, tablet or computer.