SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – It is once again that time of year when people’s seasonal allergies tend to flare up which is even more worrisome amid the current coronavirus outbreak.
“When you go outside, you feel like the air is contaminated. Like every breath you take you wonder, ‘Is that a breath that just brought this virus into my body?'” says Charles Kane.
Kane is a life-long allergy sufferer. He says he’s hyper-aware of their health during the outbreak and often questions if common allergy symptoms might instead be related to the virus.
“It is hard to tell the difference sometimes. You do get scared anytime you cough or sneeze and it’s out of the ordinary. But if my eyes start itching then I know it’s allergies,” says Kane.
Doctors say while they might share a few symptoms, fever, muscle ache and chills are generally symptoms more commonly associated with a flu or coronavirus than seasonal allergies.
“Asthma that is not well controlled can be a major risk factor,” says Dr. James Wolfe with Allergy & Asthma Associates of Northern California.
That’s a concern for Kane’s nine-year-old son Adonis who suffers from asthma. Adonis’ mother says she’s not taking any chances with her son’s health and has been strictly following guidelines about social distancing.
“He knows why we’re staying home and why we’re not outside playing. We’re not going to visit family either,” says Christine Rennie.
Dr. Wolfe says patients with mild to moderate allergies should not be at greater risk for coronavirus. But he urges his patients whose asthma is not well-controlled to contact their doctors.
“This is a time when someone with asthma if they’re coughing and wheezing, they need to be seen right away. If they’re not taking their medicine as prescribed, they need to do that,” says Dr. Wolfe.
“Asthma that is well controlled is not a risk factor for developing COVID-19. But asthma that’s poorly controlled can be a major risk fact