Is it allergies or is it COVID-19?

Apr 8, 2021

April usually brings spring showers, flowers -- and allergies.

When the weather began to change about two weeks ago, Shonta McFayden thought she was experiencing one of her invasive allergy attacks.

“Maybe all this rain is picking up all this dust and dirt in the air. So maybe it's not really nothing too serious,” McFayden said

It proved to be something more serious. McFayden was on her second shift at Strong Memorial Hospital when she received a call from the employee health nurse. Her test results showed that she had COVID-19.

McFayden said she is now a bit traumatized by the experience because her symptoms were not the usual signs of COVID-19. 

“Now, do I go take a COVID test every time I get symptomatic with my allergies? What do I do?” asked McFayden.

Dr. Peter Capucilli, an allergy and immunology specialist at Rochester Regional Health, said getting a COVID test is exactly what McFayden and other allergy sufferers should do, especially now that COVID-19 is a threat.

“You should be thorough about making sure that COVID is not the problem in the first place, and then potentially seek out further care for your allergies,” said Capucilli.

He said that feeling sick with cold-like symptoms, developing a fever or experiencing other respiratory issues are indicators that what you think are your allergies is really COVID-19. He adds that you should contact your primary care physician if you develop new symptoms or have concerns.