It’s allergy season: How to tell the difference between allergies and coronavirus

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A warm winter and early spring have brought seasonal allergies to New Jersey ahead of schedule.

But with a global outbreak of coronavirus on everybody’s minds, it may be difficult for one to differentiate between symptoms of the virus and those of typical seasonal allergies.

Allergies typically produce sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes and ears. One symptom common in both ailments is a cough.

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“With allergies, it’s most likely triggered by postnasal drip,” says allergist Lin Li. “You can get mucus at the back of your throat, so it could be a drier cough. And with allergy cough, you usually don’t have shortness of breath.”

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Coronavirus symptoms also include a cough, shortness of breath and fever. Seasonal allergy symptoms typically focus on the eyes and nose and do not include a fever.

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Li says that anyone who suspects that they may have the symptoms of coronavirus should stay inside their homes and consult a doctor.

Tree pollen and mold spores are the primary allergens for seasonal allergies. Pollen usually peaks in early May, but allergists say it will likely reach its peak in April this year.

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