Is it allergies, flu or COVID-19?


How can you tell?

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — It can be tough to figure out if you’re suffering from allergies, the flu or the coronavirus because of some of the similarities in its symptoms. 

Dr. Jason McKinney, a Pulmonologist and Critical Care Physician with Mercy Hospital said when it comes to allergies, it’s a chronic problem. It can cause you to sneeze, have congestion and itchy eyes. Those symptoms are more common with allergies.

Influenza and COVID-19 are both viruses that affect your respiratory system and are contagious.

In both cases, people can develop fever, headaches, body aches, and fatigue. In severe ones, people can end up in the hospital and even die from the infections.

Coughing can show up in all three cases.

McKinney said most people have had the flu before, many have built an immunity to it and there is a vaccine to treat it.

The same can’t be said about the coronavirus. His advice, if you’re having flu-like symptoms it’s better to be safe and get tested for COVID-19.

“The dangerous part of COVID 19 is that it is a novel virus meaning that it’s foreign to all of our bodies which means that we are all susceptible. It is highly contagious and even though it can be fatal in a small number of people, a small percentage of the population is still a great number of people,” said McKinney.

The CDC also lists shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste as symptoms more common with COVID-19.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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