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How to know whether you have allergies or a virus

By Lindsey Bever and Allyson Chiu

29 Mar 2023 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

Wondering if that runny nose and cough is just a bad cold or something more serious? The Post has a simple Q&A guide to help you distinguish between a virus and allergies.

Spring is in full bloom, setting off an orchestra of coughing, sneezing and wheezing. The symptoms are all too familiar for chronic allergy sufferers. But amid a persistent coronavirus pandemic and the tail end of influenza season, how do you know whether that congestion is simply allergies or something more? And what should you do about it?

The Washington Post spoke to allergists and immunologists for answers. Here's what they said.

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