Allergies or COVID? Symptoms allergists say you should be on the lookout for

.(Live 5)
Updated: Apr. 5, 2021 at 11:32 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As allergy season descends upon the Lowcountry, many people showing symptoms are wondering is it allergies? Or could it be COVID?

Charleston Allergy & Asthma allergist and immunologist Dr. Meredith Moore says it is the peak of Lowcountry tree pollination which brings a lot of symptoms for allergy sufferers.

With allergies, the hallmark is itching. Itchy eyes, itchy nose, itchy throat, itchy palate. Essentially, Dr. Moore says, if you’re having itching it’s highly likely that it’s allergies because itching is not a symptom associated with COVID. But what about other symptoms?

“We see a lot more drainage with allergies,” Dr. Moore says. “Watery eyes, watery runny nose, post nasal drip… Runny nose has not been one of the major symptoms of COVID but some patients have reported having some runny nose with it but it’s not a faucet like you see with allergies.”

Moore says patients experiencing a fever are more likely to be suffering from COVID or another illness rather than allergies.

“If you’re having extreme fatigue, muscle aches, malaise, chest pain or chest pressure is a common symptom, especially associated with a cough, then that would definitely be more fitting for a COVID diagnosis,” Moore adds.

But what if allergies turn into a sinus infection?

“So that’s a harder one,” Moore says. “Sinus infections and COVID can present very similarly. I’ve had a few patients come in who thought it was just a sinus infection, and we got them tested and it was COVID.”

Moore adds people who don’t typically have recurrent sinus infections, but show symptoms should get checked for COVID.

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