While the first day of Spring was officially on March 19, South Florida residents have felt that seasonal shift for weeks now - with allergy season in full swing. You likely know the drill: eyes watering seemingly every time you step outdoors, tissue in your pockets for that constantly runny nose, and occasional sneezing that may send neighbors leaping across the sidewalk to maintain a "safe" distance.
Many of us are Googling it or posting memes to social media. So, the real question remains:
Is it just allergies, or are these preliminary symptoms of a coronavirus infection?
It needs to be stated that - if we're heeding the advice of the CDC and our health experts and feel any symptoms of cold or flu, the first line of defense is to stay home and avoid contact with others. But how do you know if those borderline symptoms that are possibly just allergies are nothing to worry about - or the beginning symptoms of a coronavirus infection?
Using input provided by the CDC, we compiled some of the key differentiating symptoms between allergies and more serious conditions - so you can act accordingly. While allergies are NOT contagious - it's cold, flu or COVID-19 that require you to eliminate contact with others in order to mitigate potential spread.
Symptoms and risks vary from person to person. If you still feel doubtful of where your symptoms lie within these guidelines, check with your doctor. At this time, doctors are only testing people for the virus if they meet certain criteria. If you are concerned that you may have COVID-19, the best thing to do would be to call your doctor and they will instruct you as to what you should do next.
Written by Paloma Vazquez, contributor to UMiami Health News. Medically reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Robert Schwartz.
The symptoms include fever, dry cough, and malaise and weakness. Dr. Paola Lichtenberger says that in some cases there is also nausea and mild diarrhea. The virus can lead to pneumonia, respiratory distress, and in the most severe cases, can be fatal. Read more.
The new, patient-friendly test will require a simple pharyngeal throat swab to deliver on-the-spot results on a paper strip in less than 30 minutes. Read more at News@theU.