These days it can feel like a myriad of things can pile up at once. In a year that shouldn’t be as tough as the one previous, it’s easy to feel helpless or lost in the confusion of new threats. Questions stack up. Am I sick, is it a fluke? Is it allergies, the flu, or COVID?
An ALLERGY is an immune system response to a foreign substance that’s not typically harmful to your body. These foreign substances are called allergens. They can include certain foods, pollen, or pet dander. Your immune system’s job is to keep you healthy by fighting harmful pathogens.
The FLU is a common viral infection that attacks the lungs, nose, and throat. Young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with chronic disease or weak immune systems are at high risk. Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue.
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, that appeared in late 2019. It is predominantly a respiratory illness that can affect other organs. People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms may include fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath; fatigue; muscle and body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea.
There are several important differences that differentiate allergies from the common Flu and COVID-19. The quicker we are to react and take precautionary measures, the better we can be at halting any future outbreaks. Maintaining a clean home/workplace is key to keep harmful viruses out of our body.
Below is a helpful list from the IDPH