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Omicron or Seasonal Allergies: How to Tell the Difference

06-22-2022

Did you know the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which is currently the dominant strain in the United States and our region, can present symptoms very similar to seasonal allergies? Both share symptoms of sneezing, headache, fatigue and coughing, but how do you know if it’s routine allergies or something more serious? Here are three things to consider:

Have you lost your ability to taste or smell?

Not every COVID-19 infection includes a sudden loss of taste and smell, but this specific symptom has become a good indicator of the illness. If you experience this bizarre ailment, it’s a good idea to follow COVID-19 protocols: isolate, get tested and call your primary care provider for tips on how best to care for yourself.

Do you have a fever?

Lots of illnesses and conditions can cause fever, as it is your immune system’s way to attack and kill the virus or bacteria that has infected your body. But if you’re experiencing allergy-like symptoms and have a fever, it’s time to rule out COVID-19. Take an at-home test or find a testing location, and minimize your contact with other while you wait for definitive results.

Are you a seasonal allergy sufferer?

Seasonal allergies can develop over the course of an individual’s life, especially if you’ve recently moved to an area or region with different trees, vegetation and air quality than your body is used to. But if you don’t traditionally suffer from allergies and are having symptoms like coughing, sneezing, trouble breathing and fatigue, it could be COVID-19. The Omicron variant is highly contagious, more contagious than other strains of the virus, and immunity from a previous COVID-19 infection and the highly-effective COVID-19 vaccines can wane over time. Sudden onset of these symptoms, especially for those who don’t typically suffer from seasonal allergies, should prompt you to get tested for COVID-19.

CaroMont Urgent Care locations offer telehealth visits, COVID-19 testing and vaccination, and treatment for non-emergent health concerns. You can schedule your appointment on our website: https://www.caromonthealth.org/Patients-Visitors/Schedule-an-Appointment.aspx

Categories: Health, Q&A, COVID-19