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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As allergy season kicks into gear, those experiencing symptoms may worry that they have contracted the coronavirus.

During a time of hyper health awareness, concern over the slightest cough or sneeze is understandable. These bodily expulsions will only increase as spring arrives and pollen fills the air.

As the pandemic lingers, it’s important to know when to quarantine and when to just buy some Benadryl.

Here’s how to tell allergies from COVID-19, as well as a few symptoms that exist for both. Note: It is possible to have both at the same time.


  • Irritated eyes: This includes itching, watering and burning symptoms. This can be treated with some basic over-the-counter eye drops, or general allergy medication.
  • Sneezing


  • Fever and chills: This can range from low-grade temperatures to more than 100 degrees
  • Body aches
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Shared symptoms

  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing is more complicated, according to the Kansas City Health Department. Both COVID-19 and allergies can cause difficulty breathing, but with allergies, it’s mostly in people who already have a breathing or lung condition. With COVID-19, breathing issues can happen even in those who don’t have prior conditions.

Anyone who may be concerned that they have COVID-19 and are showing related symptoms should get a coronavirus test and self-isolate until receiving a negative result, according to guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.