Hay fever sufferers have been told about the similarities and differences between hay fever and coronavirus symptoms by GPs.
NHS England guidelines say hay fever sufferers will typically start to experience a worsening of their symptoms from the end of March through the summer, especially when it is warm, humid and windy, as this is when the pollen count is the highest.
However, people with hay fever should not confuse their reaction to pollen with that of Covid-19.
One of the key similarities between possible hay fever and coronavirus is a cough.
The Royal College of GPs said it was important for hay fever sufferers to think about the symptoms they may have suffered with in previous years.
Allergy symptoms “tend to be milder and fluctuate depending on the time of day as pollen levels are often higher in the afternoon and evening”, says Professor Martin Marshall, Chair of the Royal College of GPs.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus and hay fever?
According to the NHS, the symptoms of coronavirus are a new and continuous cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath.
There has also been a link between the loss of taste and smell as a possible coronavirus symptom, although this has not been recognised as an official symptom by the NHS.
Since these symptoms are those for a variety of illnesses, such as commons colds and flu, if you have them you do not necessarily have Covid-19.
And while many of the symptoms for hay fever are different, such as a runny nose, there are some similarities, including a cough.
That has prompted many of those suffering with the allergy to contact family doctors for advice.
What is the advice from experts?
Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, admitted there some cross-over symptoms between the two conditions - but also key differences.
He said: “Typically, patients suffering with hay fever will experience symptoms such as a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, sore and watering eyes – but also sometimes a cough. Some of these presenting problems, especially a cough, can also be symptoms of Covid-19.
“There are some important characteristics of hay fever that could help patients distinguish between it and COVID-19.
“Allergy symptoms tend to be milder and fluctuate depending on the time of day as pollen levels are often higher in the afternoon and evening. Similarly, wet weather may lead to patients experiencing milder symptoms.”
Prof Marshall said it is important for people who feel as if their symptoms resemble those of Covid-19 to seek medical advice, call 111 or call their GP.
“In instances were a patient experiences a significant deviation from this, or have specific symptoms of Covid-19 - a new, persistent cough and a high temperature - we urge them to follow government advice and self- isolate.
Allergy UK, the country’s leading charity on allergy support, urges hay fever sufferers and asthmatics to prepare their medication in advance of worsening conditions.
On their website, Allergy UK states: “Do not mistake hay fever symptoms for coronavirus. The symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature and a new, continuous cough.
“Hay fever does not cause a high temperature and most people with hay fever do not feel unwell. Mild to moderate hay fever is easily treated.”
Coronavirus: Everything you need to know: