With COVID Cases On A Spring Upswing, How To Tell If Your Symptoms Are Just Allergies

9 May 2022

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many haven’t been feeling great the past few days, with scratchy eyes, scratchy throats, and other cold-like symptoms. Allergy season is upon us, but at the same time that COVID-19 cases are surging again.

Many would say that it’s been a long, hard winter, and welcome the return of green. Like many, Leslie Welliver of Cottage Grove is ready to get her hands back in the dirt and her feet back in the water. But there’s a catch. Since she was little, the season of spring comes with seasonal allergies.

“I think I am allergic to the world, is what my family says,” Welliver said. “Pollen in the air, trees, animals bugs, literally so many things, different grasses, different weeds.”

She’s far from alone, according to her allergist, Dr. Pramod Kelkar, with Allina Health.

“We are seeing a number of patients coming in with stuffy nose, runny nose, itchy eyes, red eyes, cough, allergies and just asthma,” Kelkar said.

What’s concerning is that these allergy symptoms are coming just as COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are on an upswing.

“Sometimes it can be confusing because both of them can manifest with cold symptoms and sore throat,” Kelkar said.

Kelkar says there are two indicators to suggest if its COVID-19 or allergies.

“There is no fever with allergies, and generally speaking there is no body ache with allergies, so those are the big ones,” Kelkar said. “Those are the two big ones that are going to be separating virus infection from allergies.”

He said if it feels unclear, take a COVID-19 test.

Welliver said she’s being cautious, amid a season of uncertainty. Luckily, it’s warm outside.

“I love it. In fact, I’m making my flower bed now,” she said.

Kelkar says tree allergies are surging and will continue to as it gets drier and windier later this week. If you do have allergies, Kelkar says don’t use that as a excuse not to go outdoors, as most can be controlled with over-the-counter products.

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