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Is it COVID-19 or allergies? Utah doctor offers tips to know

Posted at 5:40 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 19:40:28-04

SALT LAKE CITY — As spring is upon us so is the increasing pollen count.

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

“Thats an important question,” Dr. Todd Vento, infectious diseases specialist, Intermountain Healthcare said when addressing it Thursday.

Vento told FOX 13 a few symptoms you shouldn’t see with Allergies include:

  • Muscle Aches
  • Fever
  • Sometimes sore throat and shortness of breath

As for an allergy-specific symptom, sneezing isn’t heavily associated with COVID-19

But something to consider is an asymptomatic COVID-positive person who also has allergies might be prone to spreading the virus because of excessive sneezing.

“I personally don’t want to go walking around where people are sneezing with no mask on,” Vento said “With itchy, watery eyes and then they tell you it's just allergies don’t worry; I’m not gonna 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, such as the flu, are at record-low levels right now, allergies will still be just as bad.

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

"We don’t have the level of COVID that we did six months ago, which is great, but it’s still not gone,” said Vento. "In that situation, I would tell folks that I would consider getting tested if you’ve had an exposure with or without symptoms.”