Hayfever or COVID-19 – our guide to the symptoms?

Spring is well and truly here and hayfever type allergies are on the increase.  But how do you tell if your symptoms are caused by an allergic reaction or by the novel coronavirus?

Coronavirus causes a disease called COVID-19 which can produce symptoms similar to those of other respiratory conditions, such as allergies or the flu.

Medical News Today has written a useful article on this subject which includes a handy table of  comparisons between allergies, common flu & colds and COVID-19.   It is worth remembering that the primary symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • a dry cough
  • a fever
  • shortness of breath.

Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure to the virus. Some people might also experience other symptoms, such as:

  • body aches and pains
  • a runny or congested nose
  • a sore throat
  • a headache
  • diarrhea
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • repeated shaking with chills
  • new loss of taste or smell.

The symptoms of COVID-19 can be similar to those of other respiratory conditions, such as colds, flu, and seasonal allergies.The main difference between COVID-19 and colds and flu is that it causes shortness of breath but potentially no other symptoms.

People with asthma may find that a cold or flu worsens their condition, however. This can also cause shortness of breath.Although allergies can cause some symptoms similar to those of COVID-19, they rarely cause a dry cough and do not typically cause a fever.

Certain groups of people are more at risk of developing a serious illness due to COVID-19. This includes:

  • older people, especially those aged 65 and over
  • people with underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart conditions, or high blood pressure
  • people with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV
  • people with asthma

People in a high risk group will need to take extra care to stay home and avoid close contact with others.

If you have concerns, don’t forget to check the NHS website first.

if you believe you have contracted coronavirus, then the NHS is still advising you to report this  on the NHS website and if you live with other people, to immediately self-isolate within the home for up to 14 days.  The website includes advice on how to self-isolate from others in your home and what to do to protect you and your family is.