Allergy to pollen and Covid-19: itching, sore throat… how to differentiate the symptoms?

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With the help of spring, pollen allergies are becoming more prevalent. Difficult to distinguish them from contamination with Covid-19. La Dépêche du Midi offers you some ways to make a difference.

It’s an annual charge! The arrival of good weather in France is accompanied by particularly high pollen peaks. The north of the country is on red alert for birch, the southern half on yellow alert for banana. French people sensitive to this scourge are invited to take out their handkerchiefs… But in this context of a pandemic, it is not easy to differentiate the symptoms of Covid-19 from those of a pollen allergy. the midi office Make the point.

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

As the pandemic progresses, symptom linked to covid-19 infection have changed according to the variants. If before the virus attacked more respiratory system people it infected, today it affects many more the ENT sphere : “This includes the face, ear (inner and outer), nose, sinuses, mouth and tongue, throat (larynx, trachea, etc.), salivary glands, thyroid gland, and neck” , lists Fronton’s general practitioner, Jérôme Marty.

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the fault of subvariant BA.2little brother of Omicron, which today represents more than 92% of the cases of contamination in the country: “The Omicron variant and its subvariant BA.2 will go to the ‘nest’ in the upper respiratory tract while before the virus was going to affect the bronchial tubes”, explains the doctor. The otolaryngological sphere is also the area of ​​the human body most affected by a possible allergy to pollens, so confusion is frequent.

How to differentiate them?

Focusing on the symptoms first! covid-19 sideknow each other: “What comes up most often are the throat pain, the headache and one common fatigue“, comments Jérôme Marty. These are frequently accompanied by a dry cough, “laryngeal rather than bronchial” with difficulty swallowing. Fever, chills, body aches, loss of taste or smell, and shortness of breath are also specifically associated with Covid-19.

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allergy sidethe symptoms of rhinitis are the most described: they are fits of sneezing, runny or regular nasal obstruction, and possible Itch at the level of the nostrils. The patient may also complain of Itchy throatred or watery eyes and possible difficulty breathing. This is a symptom shared with Covid-19, although today it is cited less frequently in the case of contamination by SARS-CoV-2.

A doubt ? Get a PCR test

In case of doubt, it is important to carry out a PCR detection test to find out if you are infected with the virus. If it’s negative but your allergies are hurting you, see your doctor to adjust your allergy and asthma treatments, if necessary.

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In the event of a positive result in the PCR test, “you can continue with your usual treatments (inhalers, tablets). There is no risk associated with anti-allergic treatments, including corticosteroids that are prescribed at low doses in the context of allergies.” Finally, note that in asthmatics, “a Covid-19 infection […] it will be less serious the more the asthma is stabilized”, indicates the Asthma and Allergy association on your website.

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