Coronavirus Vs Allergies: How To Tell The Difference?

Coronavirus Vs Allergies: The overlay of signs could create a lot of needless anxiety.

Tavishi Dogra
Written by: Tavishi DograUpdated at: May 25, 2020 20:04 IST
Coronavirus Vs Allergies: How To Tell The Difference?

Coronavirus Vs Allergies: Did your head hurt? Your chest feels tight? Did your throat itch? Have you analyzed what keeps you coughing? Is it the COVID-19 pandemic? Or conceivably just some other allergy? If you have any respiratory signs such as wheezing, trouble to breathe and coughing, then you should isolate yourself and call on 1075 ASAP. But do you know that you can have both cold, allergies and novel coronavirus simultaneously? While we could say that signs do an overlay but there are some important exceptions. So before you start describing your cough, Dr Amitabh Parti, Director, Internal Medicine, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram brings you 5 questions that you should ask yourself. 


Novel coronavirus usually means a temperature over 100.4°F, meanwhile, allergies seldom induce high temperatures. To begin with, in COVID like disease Fever would be present apart from the sore throat, a persistent dry cough would be present, leading onto shortness of breath. As the COVID disease is spread by droplets infection, there is usually a history of exposure either during travel or with a COVID positive patient else the disease has been acquired from another in a containment zone and finally if you are a Healthcare worker you are at perpetual risk of getting infected unless you follow personal protection measures as per guidelines.

Also Read: Tips To Secure Your Mental Health During Lockdown and Isolation



Do you know that both coronavirus and allergies can cause a cough? But the COVID-19 is normally dry whereas one from allergies is the immediate aftermath of post-nasal waste. COVID-19 can cause nasal blockage or a scratchy trachea, but it is more unusual (according to experts). A history of an Itchy throat with a history of seasonal allergy in the past like sinusitis or Nasobronchial Allergy or Bronchial Asthma would favour an Allergy related throat congestion.



Are you feeling itchy? It could be anywhere, at any part of your body including throat, skin, nose, eyes. This is a trademark symptom of allergies and not connected with COVID-19. Allergic coughs usually apart from the throat also have sneezing running nose and productive cough with phlegm. There may be other associated changes in necessary Lab tests like a simple CBC ( complete blood count)- for example in Allergic coughs there may be a rise in Eosinophils count meanwhile in COVID disease there is a LOW lymphocyte count. 

Also Read: Tips To Secure Your Mental Health During Lockdown and Isolation


Changing symptoms: Throughout the day

Is it so? Then it is seemingly just allergies, for example, microspores peaks in the daylight. In which the maximum allergy patients find their signs to be the worst. Moreover, even if you have not been outside today, it can get into your house through open windows, from poor insulation and on your pet’s coat. Novel coronavirus signs stay constant during the day. Considering the current state of rapidly rising infection of COVID 19, it would be advisable to consult your physician within 48 hours of developing any respiratory symptoms, especially if accompanied by fever.


Allergy pill

Long-term antihistamines like Zyrtec, Allegra, and Claritin are suitable for both cold as well as allergies. If you eat one and your signs get better, that is a good indication, which means you are fighting something other than COVID-19. A very routine query in these COVID pandemic time is how to distinguish between an Allergy related sore throat from a COVID like a disease. 


Coronavirus vs. allergy

  • If it's allergies at play, then limit allergens in your house (it can easily go a great way as a sign controller). Buy an air purifier, change your vacuum, sheets, clean up pet dander, and see if that helps your woes.
  • However, it’s worth reiterating: Right now, any breathing sign like a wheeze, cough, or shortness of breath should be treated by a doctor, regardless of cause. If your respiratory symptoms are mild, it is important to take the above actions first and rule out some of the important trademarks of allergies before considering the next steps with your doctor.
  • After all, the best form of diagnosis is still based on Clinical judgement by examining and direct interaction with the patient.

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