How do I know if I have Hay Fever or Coronavirus?

This year presents a new challenge for sufferers of hay fever or asthma, as symptoms of a runny or blocked nose, feeling unwell, a sore throat, and/or shortness of breath can easily be confused with signs of COVID-19.

As we approach the peak hay fever season of Spring, it's important to know the difference between allergic and viral symptoms. Contact a GP from Our Medical Home if you are not sure, as the clear advice in this pandemic is to have a COVID-19 test for even mild respiratory tract symptoms.

Comparing hay fever and COVID-19 symptoms

The primary difference between hay fever and COVID-19 is history. A person with hay fever gets unwell usually on a yearly basis when the triggers, namely pollen, grasses, dust and animal hair, spark an 'attack'.

Those with COVID-19 get sick from close contact via droplets emitted during coughing or sneezing from an infected person into their nose and mouth, or by touching a contaminated surface.

While the symptoms can be similar, COVID-19 symptoms can persist and can be more severe than hay fever. Both though cause inflammation of the airways so cough and sore throat can be common to both.

GP advice

If you experience even mild symptoms of a respiratory tract infection such as sore throat, temperature, cough, muscle aches and pains, and are feeling generally unwell, be sure to get a COVID-19 test and self-isolate until you receive a negative test result and are symptom free.

Having a history of asthma or hay fever means with a GPs advice you can plan to stay on top of your allergies with the correct medication and avoid confusion between symptoms of hay fever and COVID-19.

If you aren't currently experiencing symptoms but expect to, visit your GP today for more advice on managing hay fever or asthma to prevent any confusion with your symptoms during the pandemic.

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