Hay fever symptoms and coronavirus

28 Sep 2020

Dr Mark Veitch, Director of Public Health

Tasmanians who suffer from hay fever should get tested for coronavirus if they experience symptoms.

Hay fever can cause a runny, itchy or blocked nose, sneezing, itchy, sore and watery eyes and sometimes a cough. These can also be symptoms of a cold, influenza or coronavirus. Without a test, it can be hard to tell them apart. With as many as one in four Tasmanian’s living with hay fever, it is vital that people don’t dismiss any symptoms as simply being a “normal” response to a seasonal flareup of their hay fever.

There is evidence that some people who have caught coronavirus first believed they were simply suffering from hay fever.

We do not want Tasmanians to think that their symptoms could only be hay fever without first ruling out coronavirus.

The message to Tasmanians is if you have hay fever, even mildly, please get tested for coronavirus, just in case.

While you wait for the result, please stay at home. Don’t go to work or school. If your result is negative, see your GP about controlling the symptoms and get a certificate to allow you to attend work or school.

If your symptoms get worse or change during the hay fever season, please go back to your doctor for review and possibly re-testing for coronavirus.

We understand that many Tasmanians will find these requirements frustrating given their own experience of hay fever, but it is very important that, as a community we do not miss coronavirus cases with symptoms like hay fever.

For more information, visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au