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Ragweed counts up, doctors stress difference between allergy and COVID-19 symptoms

Ragweed pollen will stick around until the second full frost.
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 9:53 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A warm summer night is encouraging many people to get outside and escape the worries of catching the coronavirus.

However, you won’t be able to escape the increase of pollen in the air from ragweed.

“This is not a normal year because ragweed pollen usually appears August 15, sometimes August 10; but this year we had it two days ago on the 27th of July,” said Dr. Steve Kagen M.D. allergy and asthma specialist.

Wednesday’s allergy report by Kagen’s Allergy Clinic shows ragweed, nettle and grass in the moderate range, which can cause allergy symptoms to flare.

The trick is knowing the difference between allergies, the common cold and COVID-19.

“If you’ve got a fever, you don’t get a fever when you have an allergy. If you itch, if you have itchy eyes, itchy nose, itchy roof of your mouth then it’s an allergic reaction. A cold, that’s going to last 5-7 days then it’s done,” said Dr. Kagen.

If you have severe allergies, wearing a mask might be difficult, but not wearing one while you are experiencing allergy symptoms could make you even more prone to catching the virus.

“The trick with staying healthy, if you’ve got allergies, you’ve got a wet nose, a wet sinus. So you want your head to be clear. The wet head gets sick,” said Dr. Kagen.

He says taking allergy medication will be your best defense against allergies and chances of getting the coronavirus while you’re experiencing allergy symptoms.

Ragweed pollen will stick around until the second full frost.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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