The flowering of cherry blossom, oak, and birch trees, the blooming of forsythia shrubs, and the growth of zoysia grass has signaled the start of Spring pollen allergy season in Philadelphia. And, unfortunately, this year’s allergy season has crossed paths with the Coronavirus outbreak leaving many allergy sufferers to worry if their symptoms are really Coronavirus symptoms.

“Some pollen allergy symptoms overlap with Coronavirus symptoms. However, there are distinct differences, too,” says Dr. Alan Berger.

Coronavirus symptoms vs. Allergy symptoms


Pollen Symptoms

  • If your allergy symptoms have lasted for weeks, it’s likely that you have an allergy and not Coronavirus
  • Pollen causes itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny nose, and possibly an itchy throat and wheezing
  • Pollen allergy symptoms do NOT include fever – that’s a Coronavirus symptom
  • Sinuses look pale, blue, and swollen
  • Symptoms begin in the sinuses – sinus and ear fullness, post-nasal drip, sneezing, and runny nose
  • A cough is triggered by post-nasal drip higher in the throat whereas Coronavirus coughs are deeper in the lungs
  • If you feel better in a house with filtered air than you do outside, it’s likely that you have allergies


Coronavirus Symptoms

  • Coronavirus causes a fever, cough, and shortness of breath although you don’t have to be symptomatic of all three to have it. Other symptoms include body ache, fatigue, gastrointestinal upset, sore throat, conjunctivitis, loss of the sense of taste and smell, and runny nose
  • Coronavirus symptoms do NOT include sneezing or itch – those are allergy symptoms
  • Coronavirus does not exacerbate asthma symptoms
  • Like a sinus infection, sinuses look red and irritated
  • Coronavirus symptoms begin in the lungs, i.e., coughs