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Ragweed allergies have similar symptoms to COVID-19

Lincoln & Hastings-Krny KOLN logo Lincoln & Hastings-Krny KOLN 8/20/2020 Jared Austin
a close up of a flower: Ragweed allergy symptoms similar to COVID-19 symptoms © Provided by Lincoln & Hastings-Krny KOLN Ragweed allergy symptoms similar to COVID-19 symptoms

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - For a lot of people in Lincoln, people are experiencing allergy symptoms as Nebraska is right in the thick of the ragweed allergy season. People who experience these symptoms may feel they’re showing symptoms for COVID-19.

“A lot of times the symptoms can be very similar,” physician at Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Dr. Robert Szalewski said. Some of the similarities include congestion, runny nose and a sore throat, according to Dr. Szalewski. CHI Health Ear, Nose and Throat specialist Dr. Aaron Robinson said there are also many differences.

“You’re going to feel tired,” Dr. Robinson said. “You’re going to have body aches. You’re going to feel a general type of unwellness.” According to Robinson, ways to help prevent allergies outside include wearing a mask. This is similar with COVID-19 and ways to help prevent spreading it. If you’re inside, doctors recommend you keep your windows closed and turn on your air conditioning. Dr. Robinson also recommends taking medications.

“Over-the-counter allergy nasal sprays and even sometimes a saline nasal rinse will help flush out some of those particles,” Dr. Robinson said. If people are at home and concerned they may have COVID-19, doctors say there’s no harm in going to get tested for COVID-19.

“If they’re concerned about it, it’s probably a good idea to get tested,” Dr. Szalewski said. " Just because it’s so hard to tell sometimes because the symptoms are so similar.” Doctors also want to remind people that allergies are much more common than getting COVID-19. Dr. Robinson said if you typically have seasonal allergies between July and Sept., take an allergy medication first because it could likely allergies. If symptoms don’t improve over time, doctors recommend getting a COVID-19 test because it’s likely worse than allergies.

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