Allergies or COVID-19? We asked an expert how to tell the difference


WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) As thousands test positive for the coronavirus, millions are beginning to suffer from seasonal allergies. Telling the difference between the two can be difficult.

Spring has sprung and that means allergy season has too. Doctors at UPMC Williamsport tell Eyewitness News the difference between allergies and coronavirus.

“The problem with this is you can have overlapping symptoms between viruses and allergies. I think one of the biggest keys in general between being sick or allergies is a fever. If you have a fever it’s not allergies.” said Dr. Nathan Hare, UPMC Williamsport allergist.

Most people who have seasonal allergies are familiar with the symptoms.

“Itchy, watery eyes, or nose symptoms like stuffy or runny, or draining in the back of your throat, sneezing, things like that. If you have asthma, that can be triggered by allergies so wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.”

Professionals say you should only be going to the hospital if your symptoms escalate.

“If you know you’re sick, is it bad enough to go to the hospital? Eh, probably not. Versus if it is life threatening. I think if you have a fever and are otherwise okay you can manage at home. I think that idea would be safer,” Dr. Hare added.

Regardless of if you’re dealing with allergies or not, doctors stress the importance of washing your hands… especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Whether you’re sick or have allergies, the main thing with all that’s going on you continue to practice good hand hygiene,” he concluded.

Doctors at UPMC Williamsport tell Eyewitness News that allergy sufferers know their symptoms and should not panic. If you’re concerned about any of your symptoms, contact your healthcare provider to learn about the best plan of action for you.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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