With the arrival of spring, a series of seasonal diseases may appear that may have symptoms in some cases similar to those of the coronavirus epidemic that we are experiencing at the moment.

Some allergy symptoms can confuse us and mistakenly think of a Covid-19 infection, but it really is not. 

According to data from the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SEAIC ), allergic diseases caused by pollens affect more than eight million people in our country, seven of whom are allergic to grasses followed in decreasing order by allergy to the olive tree, arizónica, shadow banana, salsola and parietaria.

So … how can we differentiate the symptoms of seasonal allergy and those of Covid-19?

What are the main symptoms of allergies?

There are more and more people suffering from allergies around the world. Some diseases that may be related to seasonal allergies are asthma and rhinitis.

And what about allergy symptoms? Well, in some cases they can be similar to the pandemic that we are suffering due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, that is why we want to explain the differences that exist to be able to differentiate the 2 situations.

Symptoms include watery rhinorrhea , sneezing , nasal and eye itching or itching , and nasal congestion , when exposed to specific triggers.  

What are the symptoms of a coronavirus infection? Main symptomatology of Covid-19

According to the Ministry of Health,  the main symptoms that the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can produce are fever , cough and respiratory distress .

In addition to these three main symptoms, the Spanish health authorities indicate other less common but also relevant symptoms associated with Covid-19. Among them, the latest research points to loss of smell and taste , dry eye and red eyes or “mild conjunctivitis” as coronavirus symptoms diagnosed in a number of patients who have tested positive for coronavirus.

differences symptoms coronavirus allergy cold flu

How are allergy symptoms and Covid-19 symptoms different?

As we have already said, the predominant and most frequent spring illness is allergy . According to the SEAIC, allergic diseases in Spain affect around a third of the population (30%), which in Spain translates into about 15 million people. 

Among all of them, approximately 50% are allergic to plant pollens. As the flowering period usually begins in spring, it is now when allergies begin to suffer all these symptoms.

The first and most important difference is fever , which in the case of coronavirus infection is usually frequent , but never appears in allergies .

If we sneeze frequently and have a lot of rhinitis (a runny nose that won’t stop) and nasal congestion , we are most likely to suffer from allergies because they are very rare symptoms in case of coronavirus infection .

On the other hand, if we are fatigued without having done any physical exercise and we cough (dry cough) frequently, it would most likely be to rule out an allergy, because these symptoms do not correspond to it. These symptoms are more common in a Covid-19 infection.

In the case of difficulty breathing, it is common in coronavirus infection, but it can also occur in some cases of asthmatic allergy.

The only way to know exactly whether or not you have a coronavirus infection is by performing virus detection tests , but it is always better to know and know how to differentiate the symptoms of the new coronavirus infection and other diseases that may occur. in these times (allergies, colds, etc.). 

Asthma, respiratory disease with symptoms other than the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus

Asthma is also a respiratory disease that usually worsens in the spring months. According to the WHO (World Health Organization) , asthma is “a chronic disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways that lead to the lungs, being one of the main non-communicable diseases.”

Of the main symptoms of asthma, respiratory distress (dyspnea) is a symptom shared with the new coronavirus, but there are others that are exclusive to respiratory disease, such as wheezing and insomnia, which are not symptoms recognized by the Covid -19.