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Seasonal hay fever and asthma

27th October 2021

Hay fever or asthma can produce symptoms similar to COVID-19 such as a runny nose, cough or shortness of breath, and while good management can help prevent these, it is critical to get tested for COVID-19 if these are different to your usual symptoms, or have restarted after a period of absence, or if it is unclear whether they are due to your hay fever or asthma.

People who are sneezing and coughing from hay fever or asthma may produce more droplets and if they have COVID-19, it could spread quickly.

People with asthma and hay fever symptoms may also touch their face more frequently, increasing their risk of being infected with COVID-19 if they are not practicing appropriate hand hygiene.

Grass pollen season officially began on 1 October, bringing a seasonal increase in asthma and hay fever and the chance of thunderstorm asthma. Those considered at risk of thunderstorm asthma include people with current or past asthma or hay fever, including those with undiagnosed asthma. The best protection is to have good control of your asthma or hay fever, and where possible avoid exposure to springtime thunderstorms and the wind gusts that come before them.

Do I need to get tested for COVID-19 if I have hay fever or asthma symptoms?

The symptoms of hay fever and asthma can be similar to COVID-19 and it can be difficult to tell the difference between them. It is important that you do not assume these symptoms are hay fever or asthma.

If you have symptoms that are in any way different to your usual hay fever or asthma symptoms or have restarted after a period of absence – get tested for COVID-19 and stay home until you get your results. If you are unsure, you should get tested for COVID-19.

The best way to prevent symptoms of hay fever or asthma is to have an up-to-date action plan and follow it. You can speak to your GP to discuss this.

My COVID-19 test is negative and I still have hay fever or asthma symptoms?

If your COVID-19 test is negative and your hay fever or asthma symptoms continue, you should speak to your GP or medical professional.

Louise Beer, Community Health Nurse at Macedon Ranges Health is available to discuss your asthma and hay fever symptoms. Please call 03 5428 0300 for more information.