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Protocols for Determining Whether It’s Allergies, Cold or COVID? 

Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

COVID-19 and seasonal allergies share many symptoms, but there are some key differences between the two. For example, COVID-19 can cause fever, which is not a common symptom of seasonal allergies. The image below compares symptoms caused by allergies and COVID-19. 

Seasonal allergies are fairly easy to identify because the pattern of symptoms returns from year to year following exposure to an allergen. Students who experience seasonal allergies can continue to attend school, but if they experience any change in symptoms, they should seek an assessment by a health-care provider.   

We would like you to take into consideration the following when dealing with your student’s allergies:

  • If your student needs to stay home for severe allergy symptoms, please call the school and he will be marked ill for the day.  

  • If your son has 2 or more symptoms for 2 consecutive days, please follow up with his health-care provider to address his current allergy management or determine another diagnosis. We will need a medical note before he can return to school. Because some of the symptoms of COVID-19 and seasonal allergies are similar, it may be difficult to tell the difference between them and only a medical doctor can diagnose this.

Cold, Flu, and COVID Symptoms

As we begin to step into cold and flu season, you might start to wonder: what’s the difference between the common cold, flu and coronavirus? They’re all illnesses caused by infectious viruses that affect the respiratory tract. They’re also all spread person-to-person and through direct contact with droplets that contain the virus itself. The common cold rarely; however, the flu and coronavirus can cause serious complications. 

If you have symptoms of COVID, contact your primary care provider for more information, including whether or not you should get tested. As more testing options become available, the guidelines for who should and should not be tested are changing. The CDC is now recommending those who have been in close contact with someone who is COVID positive, should get tested regardless of having symptoms.

Questions?

Please email Prep's school nurse Katie Corrigan, RN. 


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