Is it flu, allergies or coronavirus?

Published 12:28 pm Monday, April 27, 2020

With constant news of coronavirus, individuals may be concerned every time they hear someone sneeze or cough, even if mask wearing and social distancing are being observed.

How can you tell the difference between systems of COVID-19, the flu and seasonal allergies?


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In the spring, budding trees, plants, grasses and pollen can kick off major immune responses designed to flush out your system.

Sneezing is a natural reaction to these allergens. A cough can develop also, usually as a result of post-nasal drip — when some of the sinus mucus trickles down the back of your throat. Congestion, headaches, and irritated eyes are also symptoms. Some even develop skin rashes.

But a fever is not associated with allergies. A fever indicates an underlying infection that needs to be seen about.

Influenza or “flu”

According to King’s Daughters Medical Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of the flu include body aches, headaches, sore throat, cough, a runny or stuffy nose and fatigue. Some also experience vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children) and some experience a fever.

Coronavirus COVID-19

Although coronavirus symptoms vary, people who have tested positive for the virus have generally experienced fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Other indicators are fatigue, sore throat, muscle pain, headaches, chills, loss of taste or smell, and production of sputum — a mixture of saliva and mucus.

The CDC urges those with breathing difficulties, chest pain or pressure, confusion or bluish lips/face to seek emergency medical attention.

Taking steps to control the spread of coronavirus is very similar to steps you would take to avoid spreading the flu, or politely covering a sneeze that results from pollen irritating your nasal passages. Thoroughly washing hands, covering one’s nose/mouth to avoid spreading something you may not even know you have, disinfecting surfaces and using “common sense” — as repeatedly advised by Gov. Tate Reeves and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann — will help curb the spread of coronavirus, the flu and many other communicable diseases.