RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) – Is it allergies or is it COVID-19? That is a question many allergy sufferers could be asking this week as a massive plume of Saharan dust is set to hit the Gulf Coast.
Dr. William Mckenna, a renowned allergist, believes his office will see more calls as the dust makes landfall, “Anybody who has any problems with respiratory conditions really should take these precautions with Saharan dust.”
Most allergies in south Texas will trigger the usual symptoms such as sinus congestion, coughing, tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing, according to Dr. Mckenna.
The symptoms are similar to COVID-19, however, the virus brings other symptoms which are more problematic. According to the CDC, “Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face.”
According to Dr. McKenna, relief from the allergy symptoms could come from over-the-counter products.
Like COVID-19, it is recommended to wear a mask and, “if you do go outside, wear those face masks when you’re outside in general during this time,” said Dr. McKenna.