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Cedar fever and Covid-19 share similar symptoms but have different effects. Even people who suffer from longtime allergy issues have trouble distinguishing the two. How do you know if your sneezing and sniffling are related to allergies or Covid-19? It’s not exactly clear but it is important to tell the difference in order to receive the proper care and treatment for each.
You are probably familiar with Covid-19 after the past two years of living in a pandemic. But as a reminder, Covid-19 is an infection caused by a type of coronavirus. There’s been multiple variants due to mutations but in general the symptoms for Covid-19 include:
Cedar fever is a seasonal allergic reaction to the pollen released by cedar trees that many Texans suffer from. Spikes in San Antonio tend to happen in December, January, and February. When you have cedar fever, the mucous membranes that line your nose and sinuses become agitated and inflamed. People with cedar allergies typically experience itchy, watery eyes, and sneezing along with congestion and a runny nose.
The key symptoms that set Covid-19 apart are fevers of over 100 degrees, chills, body aches, nausea, and difficulty breathing. Interestingly, one of the distinguishing features of cedar fever is that it DOES NOT cause a fever as the name suggests. If you’re experiencing a fever, it is recommended you get tested for Covid-19 because it is not cedar fever.
According to Texas A&M biologist Robert Edmonson, one of the best ways to differentiate cedar fever from Covid-19 is to pay attention to the mucus. If the mucus is clear, it means it's an allergy. In contrast, if the mucus has color it means it's a cold or flu.
You can treat cedar fever as you treat other allergies with over-the-counter solutions or allergy medicine. If you have any doubts about your symptoms, get tested for Covid-19. However, if it is a chronic problem affecting your sinuses you should check with specialists at American Sinus Institute. Contact our board-certified physicians in Otolaryngology to relieve the pain and pressure associated with chronic sinusitis!