Expert explains how to tell difference between allergies, flu and coronavirus

Coronavirus continues to spread, with more than 100,000 infected worldwide – including 456 in the UK.

Extra health precautions are being taken, and various concerts, football matches and flights are being cancelled.

While the spread of the COVID-19 disease is to be taken seriously, it’s worth remembering the chances of an individual getting it is still low.

There is more chance of you catching normal seasonal flu, or a common cold.

If you’re wondering whether your stuffy nose is allergies, flu or the killer bug you aren’t alone.

Dr Greg Poland, professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic and director of the Mayo Clinics Vaccine Research Group explained to CNN how to tell the difference.

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If you have itchy eyes and a runny nose, it is most likely you are experiencing allergies.

The symptoms of allergies are usually mild and can occur regularly.

He told the publication: “The issue with seasonal allergies is that they affect the nose and eye.

“They tend to be nasal, and most symptoms are localised to the head, unless you also experience a rash.”

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Meanwhile coronavirus affect the whole body.

He explained: “The flu and the novel coronavirus, these affect other systems and the lower respiratory tract.

“You probably won’t have a runny nose, but what you might have is a sore throat, a cough, a fever or shortness of breath. So it’s a subtly different clinical diagnosis.”

Unfortunately, the initial stages of colds, flu and coronavirus can be very similar.

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Coronavirus symptoms can also be mild, which is why it’s difficult to tell the difference.

But according to the NHS , it’s very unlikely you have coronavirus if you:

• Have not been in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus

• You have not been to a country or area with high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days

If you do think you might have coronavirus, you are advised to stay at home, and use the online NHS 111 coronavirus service or simply call 111.

  • NHS
  • Coronavirus

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