With COVID-19 still transmitting within community, Alfred Health allergy experts are urging hay fever sufferers not to ignore their symptoms as spring approaches.
Hay fever and COVID-19 have a number of overlapping symptoms, including a blocked or runny nose, cough and sneezing.
Alfred Health allergist Dr Celia Zubrinich said if you experience any overlapping symptoms, you should get tested for COVID-19 without delay.
“This year it looks like we are going to have a collision between the step-wise lifting of restrictions and the onset of the hay fever season in Victoria,” Celia said.
“It can be pretty tempting to write it all off as hay fever but, we are very keen to see people just go and get themselves tested.
“There is a lot riding on detecting cases and importantly detecting them early in the course.”
While hay fever and COVID-19 share some symptoms, there are also a number that set them apart.
Fever or chills, sore throat, aches and pains, vomiting and diarrhoea, or significant fatigue are all COVID-19 symptoms that don’t overlap with hay fever.
Asthma also shares some symptoms with the virus, including breathlessness and a cough but they should not be written off as usual symptoms; if there is any change in the pattern then a COVID swab is essential.
Celia said that while it’s important to rule out COVID-19, having a clear plan ahead of hay fever season was also a good idea.
“It’s shaping up to be a solid pollen season with the weather that we have had so far this year, so now is the perfect time to review and update asthma and hay fever treatment plans with your doctor,” she said.
“We see a flare of asthma in the springtime, so aim for excellent asthma control, using your preventer if you need to.”