Is it COVID-19 or allergies? Utah Doctor Offers Tips for Knowing

SALT LAKE CITY – As spring is upon us, so is the rising pollen count.

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Sneezing, watery eyes for many Utahns are on the horizon, but the question many might wonder is whether their symptoms are allergies or COVID-19.

“That’s an important question,” said Dr. Todd Vento, an infectious disease specialist at Intermountain Healthcare, addressing it Thursday.

Vento told FOX 13 that some symptoms you shouldn’t see with allergies include:

  • Muscle pains
  • Fever
  • Sometimes a sore throat and shortness of breath.

As for a specific allergy symptom, sneezing is not highly associated with COVID-19.

But something to consider is that an asymptomatic COVID-positive person who also has allergies could be prone to spreading the virus due to excessive sneezing.

“Personally, I don’t want to walk where people sneeze without a mask,” Vento said. “With itchy, watery eyes and then they tell you it’s just allergies, don’t worry; I’m not going to feel so good. “

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The best thing to do is keep wearing a mask and cover your face while sneezing because while other illnesses, like the flu, are at record levels right now, allergies will remain just as serious.

Doctors say that when in doubt, it’s always good to get tested to be 100% sure.

“We don’t have the level of COVID that we had six months ago, which is great, but it hasn’t gone away yet,” Vento said. “In that situation, I would tell people that I would consider getting tested if I had an exposure with or without symptoms.”

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