Allergies or COVID-19? Pharmacist says watch for slight differences

Muscle aches or allergy medication not working could be causes for concern.

Muscle aches, allergy medication not working could be causes for concern

If allergy medications aren't working, something more than allergies may at play. (PhotoMediaGroup / Shutterstock)

More people are suffering from allergies this year than in the past, according to a pharmacist, but how do you know if you are having symptoms of allergies or COVID-19?

Kelly Kizlyk is a clinical pharmacist and medication information consultant at MedSask who helps people with that question. The non-profit organization offers a phone-in service to provide information on medications to the general public and health-care providers.

People have been phoning in about sneezing, runny or dripping noses, sinus congestion and watery eyes.

"It certainly is a tricky time for allergy sufferers because there is some overlap, so some of those congestion symptoms are consistent with COVID-19 symptoms," she said.

"There are a couple of differences."

COVID-19 typically brings fever, chills, shortness of breath, cough, or muscle aches or pains, Kizlyk said. As a result, anyone with a fever should be tested for coronavirus.

Muscle or full body aches, diarrhea, an upset stomach or any other symptoms not typically from allergies can also be red flags, Kizlyk said.

"It's really important to note that sometimes we can't tell," Kizlyk said. "Get tested if you're concerned."

Allergy symptoms vs. COVID-19 symptoms and how to tell the difference

CBC News Saskatoon

1 month ago
Pharmacist Kelly Kizlyk talks about the differences in symptoms and when you should go get tested 2:33

Allergy medications not working can also show the person should be tested, she said.

People should also talk to their pharmacist about medication, Kizlyk said.

With files from Fiona Odlum


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