One Mayo Clinic doctor breaks down the difference between seasonal allergies and COVID-19

We're finally heading into the warmer months and with that comes seasonal allergies.

Posted: Apr 28, 2021 8:40 PM
Updated: Apr 28, 2021 8:41 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - It's that time of year where many are suffering from seasonal allergies. But at first, you might be wondering if your symptoms are being caused by something else.

Most of the symptoms for seasonal allergies and COVID-19 are exactly the same. But there are a few major differences that you need to be aware of.

There are several things that can cause allergies, including pet dandruff, dust, or pollen. The good news is you can get tested to know exactly what brings on the symptoms. To help control some of the outdoor allergens, Mayo Clinic Dr. Jeffrey Volcheck, recommends keeping your windows closed and even wearing a face mask can be helpful.

Dr. Volcheck said people oftentimes mistake allergies for other things. "Allergies for a long time and still now are called hay fever, which is really a misnomer because a fever isn't typically part of an allergy reaction," he explained. But it just leads to sometimes some of the misconceptions that can occur when people are talking about allergies when other things can be happening."

With allergies, you can experience itchy watery eyes, a runny nose, congestion, headache, fatigue, sneezing, coughing or shortness of breath. COVID-19 brings on some of those symptoms as well, but you can tell the difference if you have a fever, sore throat, body aches, nausea or a loss of taste and smell.

Dr. Volcheck explained because there's so much overlap with the symptoms, doctors are trying to play it safe right now. "If people were being seen for that, oftentimes they would have to get tested first to see," he said. "First, rule out COVID, basically. Then deal with whatever else is going on."

Knowing your history with seasonal allergies is helpful, said Dr. Volcheck, because then you'll have a better idea of knowing that's what it is or if you think it could be COVID-19. He explained if the allergy medicine you're taking seems to keep your symptoms at bay, then there's no need to see an allergist. But if your symptoms worsen or nothing helps, it could cause asthma and that's when it's recommended you see an allergist.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 609387

Reported Deaths: 7743
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1262491796
Ramsey52997910
Dakota47216475
Anoka43200465
Washington27664296
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Wright16518153
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Clay829692
Rice8249111
Blue Earth769944
Crow Wing687999
Kandiyohi669885
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Otter Tail590087
Benton585198
Goodhue485574
Douglas477781
Mower477533
Winona463552
Itasca462768
Isanti445566
McLeod434261
Morrison427762
Beltrami410163
Nobles409850
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Becker389157
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Pine337323
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Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 374664

Reported Deaths: 6109
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58891646
Linn21448342
Scott20426250
Black Hawk16680319
Woodbury15319230
Johnson1473686
Dubuque13595213
Dallas1144099
Pottawattamie11307177
Story1082848
Warren592092
Clinton564393
Cerro Gordo562297
Webster538996
Sioux519174
Muscatine4920106
Marshall491479
Des Moines478275
Jasper452073
Wapello4366123
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Plymouth404982
Lee392658
Marion369177
Jones301257
Henry301037
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Carroll286252
Boone271234
Crawford270841
Benton262755
Washington259851
Dickinson250745
Mahaska232551
Jackson225842
Kossuth219166
Clay217327
Tama213372
Delaware211743
Winneshiek200636
Buchanan196734
Page195422
Cedar192923
Hardin191144
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Fayette188243
Hamilton186851
Harrison181973
Clayton173057
Butler167835
Madison167719
Floyd164642
Mills163824
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Lyon160941
Poweshiek159036
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Hancock153134
Iowa148324
Winnebago145731
Calhoun143113
Cass140855
Grundy139333
Emmet136741
Jefferson134535
Sac132620
Shelby131838
Louisa130249
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Franklin127823
Mitchell127243
Chickasaw125717
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Humboldt124526
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Osceola79017
Lucas77423
Worth7568
Taylor67112
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Van Buren56718
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Audubon52913
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The heat will stick around this weekend
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