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Coronavirus, allergies or flu? Here's the difference between COVID-19 and other illnesses

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 3/20/2020 Nicole Villalpando and Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY Network

a person holding a flower: Funny girl trying to protect herself from pollen and allergens © nicoletaionescu, Getty Images/iStockphoto Funny girl trying to protect herself from pollen and allergens It's allergy season and we haven't exactly cleared flu season yet, but that hasn't stopped the new coronavirus from spreading throughout the nation and creating a new normal for Americans who are now stuck at home.  

Symptoms of the coronavirus include a fever, dry cough and shortness of breath, but those symptoms closely resemble other illnesses, as well. So, how do you know if you have coronavirus or something else?

Dr. Maria Granzotti, chief medical officer at Ascension Texas, breaks down the differences between allergies, cold, strep, flu and COVID-19 to put your mind more at ease before going to the doctor. 

Allergies

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Red, swollen eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Tickle in the throat
  • Rarely a fever

Cold

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Aches and pains
  • Mild dry cough
  • Rarely a fever

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Strep

  • Sore throat
  • Painful swallowing
  • Fever

Flu

  • Fever is common
  • Dry cough
  • Quick onset
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Sometimes a runny nose
  • Sometimes diarrhea

New coronavirus, COVID-19

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever (above 100 degrees)
  • Dry cough
  • Gradual onset (two to 14 days after onset)
  • Sometimes headache
  • Sometimes aches and pains
  • Mild sneezing
  • Sometimes fatigue, but it’s not predominate like the flu
  • Diarrhea is rare

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus, allergies or flu? Here's the difference between COVID-19 and other illnesses

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