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The Kansas City Beacon: Sorry allergy sufferers. Research shows KC's pollen season is longer.

By Anna Funk

Now that spring has sprung in Kansas City, plants across the landscape are ready to reproduce.

That means they’re sending their pollen into the air, and allergy sufferers are starting to feel the effects. But with the pandemic still raging, snifflers may be wondering: Are my symptoms from allergies or COVID-19?

Luckily, many of the symptoms of allergies and COVID-19 don’t overlap, so which ones you’re experiencing should be an easy tip-off for whether you need to hit the drugstore or a COVID testing site.

Unfortunately, as climate change warms temperatures and lengthens the pollen season, allergy symptoms may last longer or be more intense.

Recent allergy research shows the Kansas City region has recorded some of the most dramatic increases in length of the pollen season.

If you’re experiencing fever and chills, that’s a sure sign of a viral or bacterial infection, not allergies, said Dr. Angela Myers, division director of infectious diseases at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Allergies don’t typically cause muscle or body aches. Those are signs that your body is mounting an inflammatory response against an invader. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea also aren’t associated with allergies.

And one of the biggest indicators of an infection, especially of SARS-CoV-2, is loss of taste or smell.

“Part of the reason I believe that people love chicken soup so much when they’re sick is because it’s salty and you can taste it,” Myers said. “But with this virus, (loss of taste and smell) is even more apparent than it has been with other respiratory viruses. And so that’s a feature of COVID-19 that isn’t really apparent with allergies.”


Read the full story via The Kansas City Beacon

Learn more about the Division of Allergy, Immunology, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine at Children’s Mercy