Do I Have COVID-19? Allergies? Or Am I Experiencing Post Vaccine Symptoms?
I was driving to work this morning around 5:30 a.m. when I started to sneeze incessantly in my car. Normally this wouldn't freak me out, but in the COVID-19 era, even though I'm fully vaccinated, It made me think twice.
I remembered that it was, in fact, early April and this happens to me every year. Is anyone else sneezing yet?
So, how can you tell the difference between seasonal allergies, a COVID infection, or just post-vaccination symptoms?
Dr. Fred Lewis is an emergency department physician at Northwell Health Long Island Jewish medical center, and says that allergies and fever are big clues, as allergies do not usually cause a fever, but they do make you feel itchy. -Fox
So, allergies usually cause sneezing, itching, fatigue, sometimes shortness of breath, coughing, sore throat, headache, and a runny nose; however, not usually a fever.
Taking your temperature is recommended if you feel unwell during the COVID-19 pandemic, as this is a tell-tale sign of coronavirus infection.
My buddy Ben's father felt unwell for three days before taking his temperature only to find he had a 103F fever and was later admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 and pneumonia!
Other signs of COVID obviously include chills, loss of taste and smell, muscle and body aches, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms are not usually associated with allergies.
As far as post-vaccination symptoms go, you have to be wary of when you got your shot. For me, I had injection site soreness about three hours after both doses (Moderna mRNA).
Arm pain was the only symptom I had after the first dose; however, about 15 hours after the second dose, I was laid up in bed with mild flu-like symptoms that lasted about 18 hours. Water, Gatorade, and Advil kept these symptoms as mild as possible.
Post-vaccination symptoms can range from nothing to severe flu-like symptoms. Usually these side effects self resolve within 24-48 hours. Allergies and COVID-19 symptoms do not.
Keep a thermometer in the house!
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.