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Stay up to date with the latest news on the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. We'll post regular updates from NPR and regional news from the WRVO newsroom. You can also find updates on our live blog.

Spring has some wondering: Is it allergies or the coronavirus?

Hamza Butt

The pollen level in central New York has been rising over the last few weeks, and that means a lot of people will begin suffering the effects of seasonal allergies. Dr. Tucker Harris with St. Joseph’s Health treats patients for a wide variety of allergies. He expects his office to get busier in coming days, and one of the big questions he expects to hear?

"Is it COVID or is it allergies?," he said.

Harris said allergy season starts taking off right about now, and many of the symptoms of seasonal allergies are the same as COVID-19: runny nose, cough, chest congestion, some changes to taste and smell. He said there is one symptom though that is a red flag. Fever.

"You know your allergies, you have a long history of allergies, and every year around this time, this symptom constellation develops, then you would be the kind of person to watch for a fever," he said/ "And if a fever starts, then you know this is not allergies.”

Harris said a fever or any abrupt change in these allergy-like symptoms means you should call your doctor to see if testing for COVID-19 is necessary.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.