COVID-19 vs. Allergies: Here Are SomeSymptoms to Look For

Kelli Cook

By Kelli Cook | March 10, 2020 at 9:55 PM CDT - Updated March 10 at 10:19 PM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Mid-southerners are on high alert and looking for any sign of the novel coronavirus. The first case in West Tennessee was announced Monday in Shelby County just in time for the Spring allergy season.

Some of the symptoms can be similar, but there are three differentiating symptoms to look out for.

Something called “Sneeze Shaming” is becoming all too popular. You know -- you hear someone sneeze and you think to yourself they may have the novel coronavirus.

Sneezing is actually more associated with the common cold or allergies. And allergies may be particularly bad this year in Memphis. It’s been a warm winter in the mid-south and we’ve had more than our fair share of rainy days.

That has Dr. Reginique Green concerned.

“And so when that happens the flowers come early, the pollen, the weeds and so it’s going to be a very difficult allergy season,” said Green.

Dr. Green says she’s ready for the wheezing and sneezing that comes with this time of the year. But the staff at Christ Community Health Services Hickory Hill are also on alert for patients who could display symptoms for COVID-19.

Many symptoms overlap with allergies.

“This is going to be a terrible year for allergies and I think people are falsely alarmed by the simple cough that comes with drainage,” said Green.

Dr. Green says the cough associated with COVID-19 will be a prolonged and deep in your chest. Another symptom that’s different -- muscle aches and Fever.

The symptoms for COVID-19 sounds like something else still circulating in the Mid-South -- the flu.

Dr. Green says your best bet is prevention like washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face. But if you do get sick.

“We are asking people who are ill to isolate themselves at home and then contact their physician until they can further be advised,” said Green.

Dr. Green says at this point the flu poses a bigger threat to mid-southerners and it’s not too late to get a flu shot.

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