Covid-19 and seasonal allergies: How to tell the difference, what precautions you should take

Having a cough, fever and physique ache? Amid the raging second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the first thought to cross your thoughts might be that you have contracted Covid-19. However, with the change in season, there has additionally been a spurt in instances of widespread chilly, seasonal allergic reactions and different infectious ailments whose signs are related to these of Covid-19.

Being a illness that impacts the respiratory tract, together with the lungs, Covid-19’s signs are fairly related to these related to different respiratory diseases.

So, it will be important to perceive the distinction between the signs of Covid-19 and seasonal flu to preserve concern and nervousness at bay, and earlier than getting your self examined for coronavirus. For instance, fever, cough and gentle physique ache are signs which can be each widespread to each Covid-19 and odd flu.

“If someone usually experiences episodes of seasonal allergies from time to time, then it is probably another allergic attack. For this, it’s important that patients identify the trigger behind the allergic symptoms,” Dr Saibal Moitra, Medical Director, Allergy & Asthma Research Centre, Kolkata, instructed

Is your cough and fever an indication of Covid-19 or seasonal allergic reactions? What to do if you expertise related signs? When should you get examined for Covid-19? Do allergic reactions enhance probabilities of contracting Covid-19? We delve into the challenge and reply your questions by talking to consultants.

How to differentiate between signs of Covid-19 and seasonal allergy/flu?

Covid-19 is an acute viral an infection, whereas seasonal allergic reactions are extra of a response to the change in climate or presence of mud particles in the air. Experts instructed that for seasonal allergic reactions, the signs are quick and abrupt. However, in case of Covid-19, the signs are extra gradual.

“Besides cough and fever, a seasonal allergy may be accompanied by sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, stuffed nose and congestion in chest, which are generally not seen in Covid-19 patients,” stated Dr Saibal Moitra, who can be the senior guide (Allergy and Immunology) at Apollo Hospital.

(Infographic : India Today/Rahul Gupta)

When should I get examined for Covid-19?

It is extremely unlikely that an individual with seasonal flu will expertise excessive fever, muscle or joint ache, sore throat, chest ache, or a lack of style or odor. Persistent dry cough, which doesn’t throw up any phlegm or mucus, can be a symptom of Covid-19. Thus, if one experiences all or any of the above signs, they should instantly get examined for coronavirus, stated Dr Nayeem Ahmad Siddiqui, Senior Consultant, Diyos Hospital.

One should additionally get examined if coughing and fever is accompanied by shortness of breath, which is a critical Covid-19 symptom and is normally not related to allergic reactions.

What are the precautions and remedy choices for chilly and flu?

According to Dr Nayeem Ahmad Siddiqui, one should comply with these precautions and preserve the following remedy choices in thoughts for chilly and seasonal flu:


– Eating a nutritious diet
– Drinking loads of fluids. Consume loads of water, coconut water, natural tea, heat soups, contemporary juice, uncooked fruits and greens, turmeric and honey
– Washing your arms incessantly
– Avoiding shut contact with people who find themselves unwell


– In case of fever and ache, analgesics (ache relievers) are usually most popular
– In case of a stuffed/blocked nostril, decongestants are suggested
– To relieve working nostril and sinus challenge, nasal steroid sprays are greatest suggested
– For coughing, antitussives are most popular for fast reduction
– For sore throat, one should have throat lozenges and gargle with heat salt water a number of instances a day

For kids

According to Dr Jaydeb Ray, Department of Pediatric Medicine, Institute of Child Health, Kolkata, if fever persists in kids past three days, they should be examined for Covid-19.

“For seasonal flu or common cold, if fever is greater than 100°F, give paracetamol 10-15 mg/kg/dose. Give plenty of liquids, soft and light diet. One may also give Vitamin C and zinc to boost overall health and immunity,” he instructed

Can allergic reactions enhance probabilities of contracting Covid-19?

According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there isn’t any indication that may verify whether or not allergic reactions enhance one’s probabilities of catching Covid-19. “However, it has been observed that people with pre-existing allergic rhinitis were more likely to develop Covid-19 symptoms,” stated Dr Siddiqui.

A couple of research recommend that individuals with allergic reactions is likely to be at a threat of contracting Covid-19 since our “immune system is a little more stressed during pollen-sensitive seasons”, he stated.

“The mucous lining of our eyes, nose and throat becomes irritated and makes us more likely to become sick. Allergy patients should stay indoors as much as possible and should go outdoors either early morning or early evening when pollen is on the lower side. One should avoid going outside when winds are strong and try not to scratch your eyes and nose if you feel itching because if you are exposed to Covid-19, you will self-infect yourself when your finger touches your mucous membranes,” Dr Siddiqui stated.

I’ve bronchial asthma. Am I at elevated threat of getting Covid-19?

Dr Saibal Moitra stated bronchial asthma sufferers whose bronchial asthma is nicely managed, i.e. those that repeatedly take their inhaled corticosteroid drugs, aren’t at elevated threat of contracting Covid-19.

“However, asthma patients who have frequent exacerbations, who are very irregular with medications or in whom the airway inflammation is quite high, these patients are at increased risk of acquiring any viral infection, including Covid-19. They must immediately consult their doctor if they experience any symptoms,” Dr Moitra stated.

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