Sorting through the symptoms: Allergies, Asthma, Flu vs. COVID-19

Sorting through the symptoms: Allergies, Asthma, Flu vs. COVID-19

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - COVID-19 is adding a layer of concern for those who already suffer from issues like asthma and allergies.

“I thought with me having seasonal asthma maybe this was just a really bad event,” explained Jennifer Coney. Coney was thankful to have doctors to answer the questions.

“I’ve been tested twice for COVID," added Coney. "Each time my medications I was on wasn’t working so it just became a ruling out method.”

Dr. James Haltom at Mississippi Asthma and Allergy points to some symptoms that may be the red flags for COVID.

“Cough, fatigue and fever and you shouldn’t really see those things dramatically with allergy," explained Haltom. "And loss of taste and smell with COVID-19 is another indicator that is pretty specific.”

But check this out - Haltom says some studies show patients with asthma and allergies may actually be at less of a risk for the virus.

“The reason for that is the virus attaches to what we call ACE2 receptors in your respiratory tract and in your blood stream," Haltom described. "And patients with asthma and allergies actually have fewer of those receptors.”

Meanwhile, District Drugs and Mercantile has had more calls about allergy issues.

“We’ve had a lot of patients that we have seen recently who have not had allergy symptoms in years all of a sudden develop symptoms that they think are allergy symptoms," explained pharmacist and owner Whitney Harris. "And they come to the pharmacy to self-diagnose, self-treat... Speak to your pharmacist to see if it might be something that could be more serious.”

Whitney Harris encourages folks to talk to the pharmacist or a doctor to make sure their symptoms aren’t something more serious. She’s also found an increased early-interest in the flu shot.

“So, I have a list of hundreds of people who are wanting the shot ASAP," she said.

Dr. Haltom believes flu season in when patients may get more confused because of more overlap in symptoms.

To read more about the differences in seasonal allergies and COVID-19, click HERE. If you’d like to know more about the similarities and differences in COVID-19 and the flu, click HERE.

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