Spring has sprung here in Cochrane and seasonal allergy sufferers are feeling the effects.

Coughing and sneezing at this time of year is typically chalked up to the changing of seasons, grass growing and pollen in the air.

However, COVID-19 has most people questioning these symptoms and wondering if they may be linked to something much more serious.

Gunjan Dave is the owner of Fireside Pharmacy here in Cochrane, and he says that an increase of these types of symptoms isn't out of the ordinary for this time of the year.

He says "Seasonal allergies are very common. At this time of the year, there's a lot of pollen and dust particles in the environment that causes many people to react differently."

Dave says that there is no question that some people may experience similar symptoms from common allergies and COVID-19.

However, while there may be some overlap in symptoms, there are some key factors that typically differentiate the two.

He says " The main symptoms for allergies are having a runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion and sneezing." He goes onto say that "Anytime these symptoms come with a fever or a sore throat there is an infection involved distinguishing the differences ."

Having a fever, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing are the most common symptoms associated with COVID-19.

Other differing symptoms include having a sore throat, experiencing extreme fatigue, a loss of smell, headache, chills, vomiting and diarrhea.

Dave says that if you notice an increase in coughing or sneezing after spending time outside, there's a good chance those particular symptoms are linked to seasonal allergies.

He says that if you have concerns and are experiencing questionable symptoms it is important to consult with your pharmacist or physician.

Dave also stresses the importance of continuing to practice good hygiene, social distancing and wearing a face mask when social distancing isn't possible.  He says "Stay safe, be clean, wear a mask and protect yourself and others."