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Seasonal allergies or COVID-19? Doctor explains different symptoms

Seasonal allergies’ sniffles, congestion, dry cough and sore throat in a time of COVID-19 can make people a little uneasy.

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Seasonal allergies’ sniffles, congestion, dry cough and sore throat in a time of COVID-19 can make people a little uneasy.

"There is a lot of anxiety out there, which is understandable," said Dr. Lakiea Wright, a physician in the division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Wright said she's seeing a lot of confusion in the air these days when it comes to people self-diagnosing.

"Runny nose, stuffy nose, watery itchy eyes. But when you come to COVID, symptoms you have are shortness of breath, fever, cough," she said.

Wright said it’s critical for people to be aware of the distinguishing differences between COVID-19 and the seasonal sniffles.

"Allergies alone would not cause fever. They should not cause shortness of breath — unless you have something like asthma. And you shouldn't get body aches or chills," she said.

Wright said there are a few things people should be conscious about over the next month or so. For example, if your symptoms increase when you’re outside or the window is open, it's probably the pollen.

Wright said there are several things you can do to help beat back those allergies. Wear a mask and wear sunglasses. Both help keep the pollen away by protecting your nose, mouth and eyes.