In the best of times, it can be hard to tell the difference between symptoms of allergies, asthma and a viral respiratory illness. With the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding what these symptoms are is even more important than ever.

The virus causing COVID-19, called SARS-CoV-2, is part of a family of viruses called Coronaviruses. This is a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory illnesses. Coronaviruses can develop in animals and, through mutation, come to infect humans. SARS-CoV-2 is a mutated coronavirus that emerged in China in late 2019. It can cause severe respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and can be fatal. Yet, in some people the symptoms can be mild. You should seek immediate medical care for any of the following:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Here is a comparison of symptoms of COVID-19, asthma and allergies:

Because allergy and asthma symptoms can appear like some of the symptoms of COVID-19 it is very important to control your allergies and asthma. Remember the following tips:

  • Avoid allergy triggers: During the current pollen season keep windows closed and avoid outdoor activity when pollen counts are high
  • Take your medications: Taking your daily controller inhaler and other allergy and asthma medications as prescribed will minimize your symptoms of allergy and asthma
  • Follow your Asthma Action Plan

Most importantly, keep in contact with your Allergy Partners physician. Our offices remain open and we are offering Telemedicine services to make sure you and your family remain well during this challenging time. We are anxious to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about COVID-19 and how we can best manage your allergies and asthma together.

 

Article by:

Dr. William McCann | Allergy Partners of Western North Carolina

Dr. Richard Wasserman | Allergy Partners of North Texas

 

Sources: ACAAI: https://acaai.org/news/important-covid-19-information-those-asthma-andor-allergies

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

AAN: https://www.allergyasthmanetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Distinguishing-the-Difference-COVID-19-Allergies-Flu_4-20.pdf