Little Rock doctor says look for fever to differentiate COVID-19 from allergies

Dr. Griffin said it’s very rare to get a fever with allergies, and the cough linked to COVID-19 is drier, with much less mucus.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Allergies are kicking in giving us some sneezes and coughs, but some of these symptoms mimic COVID-19.

“This is very typical, this is February,” said Berni Kurz, U of A Extension Service senior horticulturist.

Kurz said it should be no secret by now allergens are in the air.

He finds out it’s mostly elm and cedar pollen, and it’s not coming from our local landscape.

“These warm fronts that we’ve been getting from the Gulf Coast is bringing the pollen to us,” said Kurz.

Dr. Stacy Griffin at Little Rock Allergy and Asthma Clinic said these allergens stirring in the air are already making some of us feel under the weather.

“With allergies, you may feel bad with your environmental allergy symptoms the itchy, red, watery eyes,” said Griffin.

But dealing with allergies symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Griffin said can be a little scary because both COVID-19 and allergies share some of the same symptoms.

“The cough can be seen in both,” said Griffin.  

The one symptom that sets the two apart is a fever. If you have a fever, that’s when you should get a COVID-19 test.

Dr. Griffin said it’s very rare to get a fever with allergies, and the cough linked to COVID-19 is drier, with much less mucus.

But he said, if you need to chat with a healthcare provider, they’ll always make time.

“Just give them a phone call. Most of the time, they’ll be able to tell you whether or not it’s your average cough or cold or if you should be screened for COVID-19,” said Griffin.