It\u2019s spring, and across much of Canada, that means the start of allergy season. But this year, allergy sufferers might be more anxious than usual, wondering whether their sniffles are just allergies, or the start of a novel\u00a0coronavirus\u00a0infection. \u201cIt\u2019s different from place to place, but here in Ontario, we\u2019ve already started tree pollen season,\u201d said Dr. Susan Waserman, an allergist and professor of medicine at McMaster University. People sensitive to tree pollen might be starting to experience symptoms already, she said. But luckily, it\u2019s possible to distinguish between allergy symptoms and\u00a0COVID-19.With allergies, \u201cit\u2019s running nose, sneezing, it\u2019s itchy nose, it\u2019s itchy watery eyes, stuffiness,\u201d said Dr. Anne Ellis, professor and chair of the division of allergy at Queen\u2019s University\u2019s school of medicine.\u201cFor some people who get postnasal drip, there is an associated mild cough.\u201d COVID-19, as a viral infection, would have symptoms that you wouldn\u2019t normally see with allergies, Ellis said. While it can give you some upper respiratory symptoms, like a cough, its most distinguishing symptoms won\u2019t generally occur with allergies, Ellis said. \u201cFever, muscle aches and pains, just generally feeling completely wiped out, these would be a hallmark that you might actually have a viral infection.\u201d Waserman also highlighted fever as a distinguishing symptom. \u201cYou don\u2019t see fever with allergic disease, so that\u2019s a distinguishing feature,\u201d Waserman said. \u201cYou may have some sneezing in COVID, but at the end of the day, the main things that you are looking for are fever, cough, lots of fatigue and ultimately difficulty breathing in those who have more severe disease.\u201d There are viruses other than COVID-19, too, like colds and flu, that can cause symptoms, Waserman said. The other important thing both Ellis and Waserman note is that if you normally get allergy symptoms at this time of year, and you\u2019re getting the same ones this spring, there\u2019s a good chance it\u2019s just your regular seasonal allergy returning. \u201cIf you\u2019ve had allergies before, and they seem like they\u2019re doing the exact same thing as they did last year, then it\u2019s probably your allergies and it probably isn\u2019t COVID-19 in disguise,\u201d Ellis said. Also, if you take your regular allergy medication and your symptoms clear up, then that\u2019s probably a pretty good indication it\u2019s allergies. \u201cYou wouldn\u2019t expect a viral infection of any kind to respond to an antihistamine,\u201d she said. If, however, you still think you have COVID-19, Ellis recommends you get in touch with a health-care provider. If your symptoms are mild, depending on where you are, you might not end up getting tested but should self-isolate until you\u2019re well, she said.