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Covid-19 or Allergies: How can I distinguish the symptoms?

During this challenging time, with every sneeze, cough or tickle in the throat, many people wonder: Do I have COVID-19 or allergies? This could be a tricky question since most of those symptoms are also associated with seasonal flu. If this was not enough, millions of allergy sufferers around the world are finding this question tricky to answer, causing them to unnecessary self-isolate and constant worries: COVID-19 or allergies?

Today, we are here to shine some light on the recent findings to help you distinguish the symptoms between COVID-19 and allergies. If you think that you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please call your local NHS practice and get tested for COVID-19 first.

Allergies can occur seasonally or be present year-long including mild to severe symptoms. Allergies are caused by your immune system overreacting to pollen, dust, mould, pet dander to mention some and are not contagious.

Common allergies symptoms include:

Sneezing, running nose, itchy or watery eyes, itchy nose or ears, mild fatigue, and mild sore throat.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a viral illness spread through droplets via coughing, sneezing, and close personal contact. Symptoms typically start between 2-14 days after exposure and they can be mild, moderate, or severe.

Common COVID-19 symptoms include:

Fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, intense fatigue, body aches, loss of smell.

How to distinguish between the two: Checklist for COVID 19 or Allergies
  • Allergies symptoms tend to be long-lasting than viral symptoms and can be treated with allergy medications

  • Itchiness is normally a clear symptom of allergy while is not a symptom of viral infection

  • Fever is not a symptom of allergy, but is a common symptom of people with COVID-19

  • Constant sneezing is associated with allergy symptoms.

To help you check the symptoms we are summarising the symptoms for COVID-19 and allergies in the table below so you could check your symptoms and help determine what health issue you may be suffering from. On our website, we have allergy and intolerance tests available that can help you to determine the cause of your symptoms. Please stay alert and keep safe, together we will get through that.

Symptoms Allergies COVID-19
Body aches Rare Positive
Chills No Positive
Fever No Positive
Headache Sometimes Sometimes
Nasal Congestion Positive Rare
Running nose Positive Rare
Sneezing Positive Rare
Itchy/watery eyes Positive No
Dry cough Sometimes Positive
Shortness of breath Sometimes Positive
Wheezing Sometimes Rare
Loss of smell Mild Positive
Sore Throat Sometimes Sometimes
Nausea, vomiting No Sometimes

“Written and edited by Dr Enzo Fornari PhD, MSc trained as Scientific Researcher in the field of Pharmaceutical Science, Biophysics ”

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