By Nicole Nielsen

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM)It’s allergy season in North Texas and allergists say they’ve seen an uptick in patients thinking it’s the cause of their runny nose, when in reality they have COVID-19.

The symptoms of both prove to be very similar, which experts say makes distinguishing the two, tricky.

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“COVID symptoms have been more similar to allergy symptoms right now,” said Dr. Marie Fitzgerald, an allergist at Family Allergy and Asthma care. “We’re actually diagnosing a fair amount of COVID, when people come in with what they think is straightforward allergies.”

But there are a few key differences.

The CDC lists common symptoms both COVID-19 and allergies as cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, sore throat, and runny nose.

But if you have itchy or watery eyes or are sneezing, it’s likely allergies.

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While a fever, body aches, loss of taste or smell or nausea are common signs of COVID-19.

Allergists say it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of both, especially for parents with kids unable to get vaccinated.

“Always check for exposures. So if your child presents to you and has you know congestion, runny nose, coughing, and you’re not really sure…check sick contacts if you can, and then monitor for fever,” said Dr. Archana Narayan, an allergist for North Texas Allergy and Asthma Associates.

They also say, if you’re ever unsure, it’s best to get a COVID-19 test anyway.

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“I tell people, ‘don’t guess. Just go get a test.’ Dr. Narayan said. “That’s the best way to rule out COVID.”

Nicole Nielsen