Watch CBS News

Coronavirus Or Allergies? Doctor Explains Difference Between Symptoms

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- This time of year can be tough for those with allergies.

But now, as symptoms arise, you also have to consider the possibility that it could be COVID-19.

That late summer feel is in the air, and so are the early fall allergy symptoms.

"I get sneezing and sometimes I get a sore throat," allergy sufferer Andrea Karshan told CBS2's Jessica Layton on Monday.

Not to mention anxiety over whether what you're feeling is allergies at all.

After feeling worse than usual recently, the Crown Heights woman needed peace of mind.

"I actually have gone and gotten a COVID test done because of it," Karshan said.

It's a nerve wracking thought plaguing many people in this stage of the pandemic.

August and September rain has increased mold and fungal spore counts in soil. This is also the season for ragweed.


But a lot of common allergy symptoms mirror those of COVID-19.

"Allergies can be anywhere from runny eyes, nose, scratchy throat, sneezing, coughing, congestion, headaches -- but more like frontal headaches consistent with sinus headaches. No fevers, no loss of smell, no loss of taste," explained Dr. Alexander Salerno, of Salerno Medical Associates.

Dr. Salerno, who is seeing an increase in allergies and sinus infections, says with COVID you're more likely to have fever, loss of smell and taste, body aches and exhaustion, a pounding heading and dry barking cough.

Doctors say allergy symptoms will usually go away within a few days, especially with allergy medicine. Coronavirus symptoms can last for several days or weeks.

"Allergies are more of a sprint, and COVID is more of a marathon," Dr. Salerno said.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

If you're still unsure, go get tested, like Karshan did.

"I just believe in being super cautious. We've had an uptick of cases in my area," she said.

Because we can't be too careful in this ongoing health crisis.

You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.