Allergies or COVID-19? Doctors warn against mistaking the two

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Posted at 5:50 AM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 10:00:32-04

CINCINNATI — As ragweed numbers spike and more people are sneezing and coughing, local doctors are warning people not to mistake COVID-19 for allergies.

In the spring, the main giveaway of someone having COVID-19 was the loss of at least one sense, most commonly smell. Now, doctors say, the delta variant is presenting different symptoms.

Some of the symptoms of the delta strain of COVID-19 include fever, tiredness, cough and shortness of breath. Doctors said these symptoms are much less severe if people are vaccinated. Loss of a sense isn't as common with this strain of the virus either.

"Many people think they have sinus infections, that it's allergy season, that it's ragweed time, and it's not. It's COVID," Tiffany Mattingly, the vice president of clinical strategies for the Health Collaborative, said. "By the time that it gets severe enough that someone decides to go get a COVID test, they may have spread it to multiple people, because a couple of days have passed."

Health experts suggest that if you have a sore throat or suspect you might have a sinus infection, get a COVID-19 test just in case.