Don’t panic if you feel sick — pollen counts are very high this week

Dry weather means high pollen counts, local meteorologists say, so that could be causing your headache and sniffles.

–AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Although we may be more indoors than out these days, spring has still arrived — and so have seasonal allergies.

Yes, if you feel that tingle in your throat or can’t seem to stop sneezing, don’t worry, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sick.

With dry weather to kick off the start of the workweek, those who are particularly susceptible to seasonal allergies may feel some of those symptoms, as the pollen count is expected to be particularly high for Monday and Tuesday, local meteorologists say.

With spring’s launch coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic, though, it may be helpful to remember that allergy and coronavirus symptoms are not the same.


According to the World Health Organization, coronavirus symptoms include fever, dry cough, and tiredness, and some patients may experience nasal congestion, a sore throat, runny nose, aches and pains, and nausea. However, one in six people can experience breathing difficulties from the virus upon becoming seriously ill, and some folks are at high-risk for serious illness, such as older adults and people with underlying health conditions.

Meanwhile, seasonal allergies usually bring a runny or stuffy nose; itchy eyes, mouth, nose, and throat; sneezing, coughing, and sometimes watery eyes.

Experts recommend washing hair, clothing, and bedding regularly to help mitigate allergy impacts in the home. Carpets, upholstered furniture, and pets — who can bring pollen indoors — can also harbor allergens. Regular vacuuming and keeping humidity levels low can help alleviate allergy symptoms indoors.

Material from The New York Times News Service was used in this story.

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