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A cough or sneeze should not set your heart racing but nowadays it does. Experiencing a cold or an allergy symptom in these times could cause you to misdiagnose what your health issue might be.  It’s World Allergy Week so let’s help you have a good idea If what you’re experiencing is a cold, an allergy or COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Fever, diarrhoea, breathing difficulty

A high temperature is one of the red flags for COVID-19, but it could also mean the flu.  According to a World Health Organisation report on the cases in China, up to 88% of COVID-19 cases presented with fever. This means that some cases did not have a fever, so the absence of fever with other symptoms present might still mean that a patient has the coronavirus.

Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhoea or nausea are also strong symptoms of COVID-19. However, it is rare to find fever or diarrhoea as a symptom of a cold or allergies.

If you’re having difficulty breathing be sure it is not asthma before seeing it as a possible sign of coronavirus. Asthma attacks flare up during the allergy season. Anyone who is asthmatic needs to take good care of their health this period as they are at risk for the coronavirus.

Also recently observed is the loss of taste and smell that occurs at the early stages of COVID-19 infection. However, this sometimes occurs when you have a cold.


Depending on the type of cough; a dry cough could be indicative of COVID-19. From the WHO  report, up to 68% of the patients had a dry cough. A very sore throat is also indicative of COVID-19.

If the cough is not dry, chances are that the patient has a cold rather than allergies.


Sneezing is more closely associated with a cold and an allergy than the coronavirus.

Watery or itchy eyes

Itchy eyes or watery eyes are a symptom commonly experienced where there is an allergy. Taking the right allergy medication should clear it up within days. However, redness of the eyes (conjunctivitis) in combination with other symptoms could be a symptom of COVID-19.

Fatigue and body aches

If this is your only symptom, it might be possible that you are not getting enough exercises while staying indoors. It could also be a symptom of a cold, but it should be seen in connection with other symptoms like a fever and shortness of breath for it to be considered a sign of COVID-19.

It is important to eat healthy this period and exercise while observing social distancing of 2 metres and taking your prescribed medication. Do not get agitated when you see isolated symptoms but call the hotlines for your region if you are experiencing a high fever, dry cough, fatigue and especially shortness of breath with loss of taste and smell and no significant improvement with the use of over the counter medications.

Do contact us with any further questions about your eyes, we are available online and on phone.

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