Allergy Symptoms VS COVID-19 Symptoms

Throughout the US, pollen has started to bloom and cause typical symptoms in those with allergies right as we have seen the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Allergies typically cause nasal symptoms such as a runny nose and sinus congestion but do not usually result in a fever, as is found with coronavirus or the flu. While some symptoms of the coronavirus overlap with allergies, there are several differences. 

It’s important to note that this article is not intended to provide comprehensive medical advice. If you have concerns, please always contact your doctor and use general best practices. 

The Symptoms of the Coronavirus are:

According to the CDC, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Coronavirus is spread through coughing, sneezing, and close personal contact. We recommend following the CDC guidelines and those of your local health department to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Symptoms of Allergies are:

Symptoms of seasonal allergies range from mild to severe and occur seasonally. The most common include:

  • sneezing
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • watery and itchy eyes
  • itchy sinuses, throat, or ear canals
  • ear congestion
  • postnasal drainage

Less common symptoms include:

  • headache
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • coughing

Allergies are caused by a response in the immune system and are not contagious. Medications can treat your symptoms, and immunotherapy can help those with allergies find relief. 

Take a look at our comprehensive chart below detailing the differences between the flu, allergies, and cold. 

SymptomsColdFluAllergy
FEVERRareHigh (102-104°F) last
3-4 days
Absent
HEADACHERareProminentCommon
ACHES, PAINSSlightUsual; often severeNever
FATIGUE,
WEAKNESS
Quite MildCan last up to 2-3
weeks
Common
EXTREME
EXHAUSTION
NeverEarly and prominentUnusual
STUFFY NOSECommonSometimesCommon
SNEEZINGUsualSometimesCommon
SORE THROATCommonSometimesSometimes
CHEST
DISCOMFORT,
COUGH
Mild to Moderate,
hacking cough
Common, can become severeSometimes
COMPLICATIONSSinus congestion
or earache
Bronchitis, pneumonia; can be life-threateningAsthma, ear infection, sinusitis, bronchitis, nasal polyps
PREVENTIONNoneAnnual vaccination; antiviral drugsControlling environment
TREATMENTOnly temporary
relief of symptoms
Antiviral drugs 24-48
hours after onset of
symptoms
Controlling
environment,
medication, allergy
injections
OCCURRENCE3-4 times yearlyOnce yearlySeasonally/
Repeatedly