coronavirus symptoms vs allergies

Coronavirus Symptoms vs. Allergies: What’s the Difference?

Did you know that May was National Asthma and Allergy Month? With allergy season in full bloom (see what we did there ?) and the uncertain times we are in with COVID-19, it is very easy to confuse Coronavirus symptoms with allergies.

According to the AAFA, over 60 million Americans overall have asthma and allergies.

  • About 25 million Americans have asthma (19 million adults and 6.2 million children)
  • About 32 million Americans have food allergies (26 million adults and 6 million children)
  • About 21 million Americans have hay fever, rhinitis or nasal allergies (20 million adults and 5.6 million children)

So what’s the difference between seasonal allergies and the virus? That is what we are going to dive in deep.

What is Coronavirus?

Dr. Amanda Magrini from Northern Nevada Medical Center answered this question and several others that our amazing readers sent in. You can read the full post here on all things COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a brand new member of the coronavirus family, which is a large group of viruses that typically cause cold-like symptoms.

COVID-19 was labeled by the World Health Organization and stands for CO- corona, VI- Virus, D- disease, and the year it was first discovered, 2019.

Coronavirus Symptoms

coronavirus symptoms

While there are symptoms all across the board that can be a potential Coronavirus symptom, it’s important to note that some carriers show NO symptoms.

Up to 1/4 of people may be “asymptomatic carriers”. This means they do not show any outward systems of the virus, but they can spread it.

Additionally, if an individual does have the virus, they can be infectious for a few days before even showing symptoms.

According to the CDC, it can take 2-14 days after exposure for Coronavirus symptoms to appear. They can include, but are not limited to:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

It’s also important to know that if you show any of the following symptoms, we recommend seeking immediate medical attention.

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

What are Seasonal Allergies?

First off, it’s important to note that seasonal allergies are not contagious.

For those who deal with seasonal allergies (like me!), springtime can be rough. From congestion and sinus pressure to itchy skin that seems impossible to get to stop itching, allergy symptoms really kick it to us.

And with the Coronavirus Pandemic, our allergies have left us with a little more complication.

Allergy Symptoms

While symptoms can vary, here are some of the symptoms for seasonal allergies.

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Watery and itchy eyes
  • Itchy sinuses, throat, or ear canals
  • Ear congestion
  • Postnasal drainage
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing

coronavirus symptoms vs allergies

Coronavirus Symptoms vs. Allergies

When it comes to comparing Coronavirus symptoms vs. allergies, they can easily present themselves in similar ways as we’ve noted above.

So how do you know what’s going on? If you may have symptoms from the virus or if it’s really just seasonal allergies?

We recommend knowing and understanding the different symptoms and recognizing the overlap. However, if you don’t see overlap and are showing multiple symptoms of Coronavirus, we recommend seeking medical attention.

Should You Seek Medical Attention?

Coronavirus symptoms vs. allergies can vary, but when should you seek medical attention?

The CDC has enabled a Coronavirus Self-Checker on the CDC COVID-19 Symptoms page by clicking on the Coronavirus Self-Checker button under the symptoms list.

At Northern Nevada Health Systems, “the health and safety of our patients is our top priority, and this award demonstrates our commitment to excellence in quality and safety,” said Helen Lidholm, CEO/Managing Director for Northern Nevada Medical Center.

“Our goal at Northern Nevada Medical Center is to provide a safe environment for our patients including thorough cleaning practices, avoidance of infections, and zero tolerance for medical errors.”

To Our Community

coronavirus symptoms

Thank you for ensuring the safety of not only your family but for our community. To our fellow seasonal allergy sufferers, let’s kick this season’s allergies in the butt by being aware of our surroundings and any environmental aspects that flare them up.

To our first responders, THANK YOU. It is because of the first responders and specifically our medical professionals at Northern Nevada Health System who continue to lead the way in dedicating their careers to providing us a safe, trustworthy environment for the community.

I mean, they did receive the Spring 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade “A” grade for the fifth consecutive year for providing quality and safer healthcare.

“We hope this ‘A’ helps to thank the people who work and volunteer for Northern Nevada Medical Center. They are role models in putting patients first, and their service has been extraordinary in our country’s time of need.” – Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group.


Northern Nevada Health System is a regional network of care that has elevated and improved access to healthcare for 40 years. The System operates two acute care hospitals located in Sparks and Reno, 24/7 freestanding emergency departments, a Medical Group which offers family and internal medicine, urgent care and specialty care, and Quail Surgical and Pain Management. NNHS is committed to maintaining and improving the well-being of the community and is known for top-rated patient satisfaction, in addition to providing quality care and a safe environment for patients to heal. To learn more, visit