Is it COVID-19, allergies, or post-vaccine symptoms? How to tell the difference
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With spring officially upon us the coronavirus lingering, it can be tricky to tell the difference between seasonal allergies, a coronavirus infection, side effects post-vaccination.
“It can be difficult to differentiate allergies from infection from COVID, especially when both can be prevalent at the same time of the year,” Dr. Fred Davis, an emergency department physician at Northwell Health Long IslJewish medical center on Long Island, N.Y., previously told Fox News.
There are some key differences between the three, however, that might make telling them apart a bit easier.
“I always ask about itchiness fever which are big differentiators. Allergies do not usually give fever but they do make you feel itchy scratchy,” Dr. John Whyte, the chief medical officer of the health care website WebMD, told Fox News of one key difference between a coronavirus infection spring allergies.
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The Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) also makes distinctions between allergies coronavirus symptoms as well. While symptoms of both can include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, headache, sore throat congestion or a runny nose, symptoms such as fever chills, muscle body aches, a new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea are more common with a COVID-19 infection, per the CDC.
“Viral infections often give you chills or fever make you very tired. Allergies don’t typically make you very tired,” Whyte added. “Allergies don’t make you short of breath or give you diarrhea where COVID can.”
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As for post-vaccination symptoms, “side effects typically are a pain in the arm, fatigue, sometimes headache,” said Whyte. “It’s all about timing; they occur typically 4 hours or so after vaccination resolve within 24-36 hours,” he continued, noting that allergies symptoms related to a coronavirus infection do not resolve that quickly.
Overall, if you are unsure are concerned you may have been infected by COVID-19, it is recommended to get tested follow CDC guidelines to avoid the spread of the disease, per the federal agency.
Those who receive the vaccine experience a worsening redness or tenderness where they were injected after 24 hours, as well as those whose side effects are worrying or do not seem to be going away after a few days, should contact their doctor or health care provider, the CDC recommends.