By Ed Curran

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s that time of year when allergies start to kick in. During this time of COVID-19 you may have concerns over every sniffle you develop. Is it allergies, is it a cold or the flu, or is it COVID-19?

Keep in mind that you can be carrying COVID-19 and not be showing any symptoms. That’s why it’s recommended you wear a cloth mask. If we protect others from our vapor in the air, we’ll all be a lot safer. If you do start to show some symptoms of illness here are telltale signs of what it might be.

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ALLERGIES

If you have seasonal allergies you probably recognize the symptoms right away. A stuffy nose or runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and postnasal drainage. Loyola‘s Gottlieb takes the pollen and mold count every day at this time of the year, and the hospital reports that the tree pollen count is currently high. (4-6-2020)

COMMON COLD

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A cold may cause a stuffy nose but it usually doesn’t cause itchy eyes. In addition, a cold often times present with a cough. Coughing is typically not a symptom of allergies unless you have allergic asthma.

COVID-19

The number one indicator that you’re suffering from COVID-19 is fever. Take your temperature. The latest guidelines say normal temp is a little cooler than the 98.6 we’ve always been taught, but anywhere in the neighborhood of 98.6 is good. A fever is considered to be a temp above 100.4. Other serious symptoms of COVID-19 include a cough, shortness of breath, pressure or pain in your chest.

SEASONAL FLU

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The flu has some of these symptoms but in addition is likely to cause body aches, a headache and extreme fatigue.  Protect yourself and others. If you develop any signs of illness, contact your doctor. And, next year, get a flu shot.