How to differentiate allergy from coronavirus infection?

Some coronavirus symptoms are similar to those triggered by allergies. Therefore, it is important to know how they differ and when to consult. In this space we detail it.

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How to differentiate allergy from coronavirus infection? In the first place, it is recommended that the general population, when they suspect a coronavirus infection, contact their GP, or go to a medical center to be evaluated.

It will not always be easy to differentiate, for example, allergy from coronavirus infection. So how will we know if we are in need of a medical consultation or stay in our homes?

We will begin by clarifying that all diseases, including allergy or coronavirus infection, will manifest themselves differently in each individual. Therefore, when in doubt, it is better to make a medical consultation, whether virtual, by phone or in person.

In the case of COVID-19, what has been suggested is to stay at home and request home care or using telemedicine. Since the virus is highly contagious, it is best to respect the confinement measure.

The above applies, especially, if there are suspicious symptoms present, an infected person has been contacted, or if they have traveled to a risk area. In this opportunity, as a guide, we will first see the symptoms of coronavirus infection and then the symptoms of allergy.

Symptoms of coronavirus infection

People with coronavirus or COVID-19 infection often have flu-like symptoms. According to information published by the World Health Organization (WHO) , its clinical manifestations mainly include:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue

Some people may also have muscle aches, a stuffy nose, a sore throat, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and appear gradually or progressively. The majority of people infected with coronavirus is recovered within a week or a little more, without special treatment.

A small number of people who develop coronavirus infection (COVID-19) may manifest a more serious illness and have respiratory distress, and the need for hospitalization. Often, they are patients with previous respiratory diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the immune system, among others.

In most cases, coronavirus patients improve within a week. However, there are risk groups that may have complications where hospitalization is necessary.

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About the coronavirus

The main form of spread of the coronavirus is between people, through respiratory droplets produced by talking, sneezing, or coughing. However, there could also be a possible contagion from contact with contaminated surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth without first washing hands.

The epidemiology of coronavirus infection is changing day by day and will be different in different countries. This is so because as it is a new disease there is no previous immunity in the population.

For this reason, any suspected case of coronavirus infection will be evaluated in its particular context (previous trips, country of origin, contact with an infected person, presence of autochthonous cases, etc.).

Health professionals are constantly updated regarding this new virus and will know what to do in each case. Finally, it should be noted that people who have fever, cough and shortness of breath should seek medical attention immediately.

Allergy symptoms

The term allergy groups a set of reactions of the immune system to the presence of allergens in the body. In this case, we will refer to the so-called  allergic rhinitis , which is the one that can confuse patients now that the coronavirus outbreak exists. Its symptoms include:

  • Sneezing attack
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Itchy eyes, red, watery eyes
  • Itchy nose or throat
  • Cough
  • Postnasal drip
  • Eye bags
  • Fatigue

Allergic rhinitis is known to be a fairly common condition, in both children and adults. Sometimes, it can be accompanied by other allergic manifestations in different parts of the body. Many times, there is a family history of allergy.

In general, symptoms will be limited to the face area, will be persistent and will not worsen over the days. Rather, they may disappear within hours, after walking away and getting rid of the allergen.

While coronavirus symptoms progressively worsen, allergy symptoms do not. In addition, the allergy disappears after moving away from the allergen.

Comparison of allergy and coronavirus infection

When comparing the symptoms of both conditions, we see that many of them overlap, but there will be others that will be specific to each, such as fever, which allow us to differentiate between the two.

In any case, there may initially be concern, especially since the milder cases of COVID-19 are barely symptomatic. For this reason, it is important, when suspected, to request the corresponding attention and take into account if there is a history of:

  • Previous allergies
  • Contact with an infected person
  • Travel to areas with high contagion rates

All these data will be decisive to establish if it is only an outbreak of allergy, or if it may be a coronavirus infection. The doctor will determine if tests are necessary.

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Coronavirus allergy and infection: what should be clear?

Before turning on the coronavirus alerts, it is important to determine if there are previous allergies and how the symptoms are evolving. While there are some similarities, allergies tend to improve without complications. In any case, in case of suspicion, it is best to consult, request the pertinent evidence and respect the measure of confinement.

 

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