Sore throat? Now what? Seasonal Allergies vs. Strep Throat vs. Coronavirus Symptoms

Since a sore throat is a common symptom of all three, you may be feeling a bit perplexed and left with many questions. We have provided a breakdown for you that may help provide a better understanding of what that sore throat really means. 

It’s that time of year again... The tricky season from March-June where you find yourself deciphering if your loved one’s sore throat is just a symptom of seasonal allergies or something worse, like strep throat. However, this year the concern for a sore throat is more alarming due to the coronavirus. Since a sore throat is a common symptom of all three you may be feeling a bit perplexed and left with many questions. To be honest, we have been feeling a bit perplexed ourselves, so we have created a breakdown that may help provide a better understanding of what that sore throat really means. 


Seasonal Allergies vs. Strep Throat vs. Coronavirus Symptoms


Seasonal Allergies

  • Red and itchy eyes
  • Runny nose 
  • Itchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Slight cough


Strep Throat

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Red tonsils with white spots
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Headache abdominal pain


Coronavirus

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches 


What are the key differences in symptoms? 

With seasonal allergies you may see a runny, itchy nose accompanied by sneezing. In most situations, those symptoms are not identified in cases of strep throat or coronavirus. 


If strep throat is present, you may see swollen, red tonsils with white spots. Red tonsils with white spots should not show up in cases of seasonal allergies or coronavirus. 


In the case of the coronavirus, you may witness shortness of breath and a deep cough. Unless asthma or other lung issues are factors, shortness of breath or a deep cough with seasonal allergies or strep throat most likely will not be present. 


Are all three contagious? 

Seasonal allergies are not contagious. Seasonal allergies are developed due to luck of the draw or a strong family history. Strep throat and coronavirus, however, are extremely contagious and precautions should be taken to avoid contact with others. Thankfully, the precautions being taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus - like staying home - can help reduce the risk of strep throat and even seasonal allergy symptoms. 


What are the treatments? 

To treat seasonal allergies, you can use an oral antihistamine treatment (non-prescription), nasal spray and/or eye drops. Take the dosing or apply as listed on the package. If you have questions about the interference of drugs or age restrictions, please consult your doctor. To help keep track of when certain seasonal allergies may be on the rise, you can follow local pollen counts at www.pollen.com


Strep throat is treated with an antibiotic. To receive a prescription you will need to consult with a doctor in a clinical or hospital setting, and have a throat swab and culture administered. Once approved by FDA for an over-the-counter clearance, you will be able to use the Checkable Medical Strep platform to administer a throat swab and connect with a telemedicine provider for a diagnosis and treatment from the comfort of your home; eliminating the need to schedule an appointment and find time in your day to go to the doctor.   


Currently, there is no known treatment for the coronavirus, if you believe you or your family are experiencing symptoms, please call your doctor immediately for further action needed. 


If you are still left feeling perplexed whether that sore throat is related to seasonal allergies, strep throat or coronavirus, you are encouraged to reach out to a medical professional to seek clarification and guidance. 


Interested in learning more about the Checkable Medical Strep platform and how healthcare begins with YOU at home? Visit the Checkable Medical website for more information!



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