Crazy times we’re living in – everything’s shutting down and self-quarantine is taking place as we speak. Everyone who can is working from home and those who remain in the public sphere are taking precautions like never before. To make matters worse, allergy and flu season are in full-swing, so becoming sick just adds to the panic. But it’s really not a time to panic. Fear and anxiety spread worse than the actual COVID-19, making people frantic and reactive to the news; however, that’s not to say there shouldn’t be concern. A healthy amount of worry will keep us isolated and prevent further spread.
One way to not panic is to recognize symptoms of allergies, the flu, and the Coronavirus. Many hospitals won’t do a COVID-19 test on someone unless they’re showing more than one symptom – such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. So the best way to keep our wits about us is to know exactly what we’re dealing with and if it’s viral or not.
Let us begin.
Is it allergies?
Not only is there an uptick in seasonal allergens like pollen, but most of us are quarantined and stuck at home with our pets. You know what that means? Those of us with pet dander allergies are going to be experiencing that on a bigger scale. It’s great for our fuzzy friends because we’re home all the time, but being around them at all times can prove to make things rather difficult. Not only that, but if there’s dust and mold in your home, you’re gonna be hanging out with that as well. Let’s look at what separates allergies from viral infections.
What are some allergy symptoms?
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Difficulty breathing (anaphylaxis)
- Cough (mold allergies)
- Post-nasal drip
In more severe cases, some people with asthma will experience more serious symptoms like difficulty breathing, chest tightness, and wheezing.
There are several options for allergy treatments and remedies that you can do at home to alleviate the symptoms; however, there are some treatments that need to happen in-clinic. I know what you’re thinking – “go out in public now?”. As scary as that might sound, we actually have curbside allergy testing and immunotherapy, where you can pull up to the curb and receive personal care from one of our providers.
What is allergy testing and immunotherapy? It’s a means to find out what you’re actually allergic to and come up with a solution that will help your body build immunity to those allergens. Watch the videos below to learn more:
Is it seasonal flu?
Allergies might be harmless, but the seasonal flu can be just as dangerous as COVID-19, so it’s important to understand what you have and what to do about it.
What are flu symptoms?
- Sore throat
- Body aches/chills
- Runny nose
In many cases, once the flu is diagnosed, a healthcare provider will prescribe something. You can also take fever reducers and pain relievers to alleviate the tougher symptoms. If the fever gets above 100 degrees, you should reach out to your primary doctor. The Ear, Nose and Throat Institute also does a rapid flu test.
Is it Coronavirus?
Although it’s hard to tell if symptoms are something else, there are distinct differences in allergies, the flu, and the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus might be more dangerous than the other two, it does have a high percentage survival rate. In general, 95% of cases are mild and the recovery rate is positive. There are certain groups of people who are more at-risk for severe symptoms such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, so if you’re one of those, be sure to stay quarantined until the virus has come and gone.
What are Coronavirus symptoms?
- Fever (usually high)
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath (severe cases)
If you suspect that you have COVID-19, contact the GA Department of Health Hotline at 1-866-782-4584.
Currently there are no cures or vaccines for the Coronavirus, but there are ways to fight the symptoms. Fever reducers and pain relievers will help reduce symptoms.
Remember, not everything is the COVID-19. If you have allergies, come to the ENT Institute for allergy testing and allergy immunotherapy. For a same-day appointment, call 770-740-1860.