Is it allergies or COVID-19?

San Antonio area in midst of oak pollen season


SAN ANTONIO – You find yourself coughing and/or feeling crummy. But could it be something beyond allergies?

“We’re in the middle of oak pollen season," said Dr. Stacy Silvers, of Aspire Allergy & Sinus. "It’s some of the worst allergies that we see in the year are right around now, particularly in San Antonio.”

A cough, breathing troubles or a runny nose are all symptoms that someone can experience with allergies or COVID-19.

However, if you are also experiencing fever, body aches and chills, Silvers said that it could be COVID-19.

“Allergies don’t cause fever," she said. “If you’ve got fever, it’s going to be infectious, not an allergic reaction. Sixty percent of asthmatics have allergic triggers. They may be feeling short of breath, having a cough at this point, but they typically won’t have muscle aches that we see with COVID-19."

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, San Antonio ranks No. 7 when it comes to the most challenging cities in the U.S. for allergies.

Silvers recommends allergy sufferers start with over-the-counter medications right away, like Zyrtec, Claritin or Allegra and take them consistently.

“Nasal sprays are some of the best ones we have available,” Silvers said. "Steroid sprays like Flonase, Nasacort, those are all good medications, but you have to use those consistently to get the best benefit out of them.”

About the Authors: