Flu, allergies, or possible coronavirus? Doctor explains different symptoms

ROANOKE, Va. – If you feel sick, how do you know if you have allergies, the flu, or possibly the coronavirus? There are ways to tell.

Dr. Saju Eapan of the Asthma and Allergy Center in Roanoke says there are distinct differences between each condition. He said allergy symptoms are typically isolated to the head.

“Most people have itching, sneezing, or perhaps a runny or stuffy nose,” Eapan said.

However, the affects of the flu and the coronavirus are much more widespread throughout the body.

“Usually they have a fever or body aches,” Eapan said. “If you’re dealing with symptoms like shortness of breath or coughing, it’s most likely not allergies, unless you have pre-existing asthma.”

The Asthma and Allergy Center itself has made changes in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. They are not allowing in anyone with flu-like symptoms that has recently traveled from a coronavirus-afflicted country.

Eapan said its important to spot the differences now not just because of the coronavirus crisis, but because allergy season has started in Virginia.

“Typically, tree pollen season goes from March to May,” Eapan said. “It’s right on track.”