Pollen allergies and Covid-19: itching, sore throat… how to distinguish the symptoms?

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With the help of spring, pollen allergies are becoming more common. Difficult to distinguish from Covid-19 contamination. La Dépêche du Midi gives you a few ways to make a difference.

It’s an annual burden! The arrival of fine weather in France is accompanied by particularly high pollen peaks. The north of the country is on red alert because of the birch, and the southern half is on yellow alert because of the plane tree. French people sensitive to this scourge are asked to take out their handkerchiefs… But in this pandemic context, it is not easy to distinguish the symptoms of Covid-19 from those of a pollen allergy. The midi dispatch make the point

Allergies, Covid-19: why is it difficult to distinguish them?

As the pandemic progresses symptoms in connection with a Covid-19 infection have changed according to the variants. If before the virus attacked more respiratory system People infected, today it affects many more the ENT ball : “This includes the face, the ear (inside and outside), the nose, the sinuses, the mouth and tongue, the pharynx (larynx, trachea, etc.), the salivary glands, the thyroid gland and the throat,” lists the family doctor from Fronton, Jérôme Marty, on.

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The fault of Sub-variant BA.2little brother of Omicron, which accounts for more than 92% of the contamination cases in the country today: “The Omicron variant and its BA.2 subvariant will “nest” in the upper airways before that, the virus wanted to attack the bronchi,” explains the doctor. The ENT area is also the area of ​​the human body that is most severely affected by a possible pollen allergy. This is why confusion often occurs.

How can you tell them apart?

Focus on the symptoms first! Page Covid-19They are well known: “What comes up most often is the Sore throat, that headache and a common fatigue“, remarks Jérôme Marty. These are frequently accompanied by a dry cough, “more laryngeal than bronchial” with difficulty in swallowing. Fever, chills, body aches, loss of taste or smell, and difficulty breathing are also specifically associated with Covid-19.

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allergic sidethe symptoms of Sniffles are the most commonly described: fits of sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose are regular and possible itching at the level of the nostrils. The patient can also complain itching in the throat, red or watery eyes and possible difficulty breathing. This is a symptom shared with Covid-19, although it is now less commonly reported in cases of SARS-CoV-2 contamination.

A doubt ? Do a PCR test

When in doubt, it is important to do a PCR screening test to find out if you are infected with the virus. If it’s negative but your allergies are bothering you, see your doctor so they can adjust your allergy and asthma treatments if necessary.

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In the event of a positive PCR test, “you can continue to take your usual treatments (inhalers, tablets). There is no risk with antiallergic treatments, including corticosteroids, prescribed at low doses for allergies.” . Finally, be aware that in asthmatics, “a Covid-19 infection […] will be less severe the more stable the asthma is,” states the Asthma and Allergy Association on its website.

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