Study suggests higher pollen counts could lead to more COVID-19 infections

Just in time for allergy season, a new study suggests higher pollen counts may lead to more COVID-19 infections.
The new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that last spring, COVID-19 infection rates were higher in areas with more pollen - sometimes by up to 40%.
Dr. Stephanie Leeds, an allergist with Yale Medicine, says not all the research agrees - a study out of the Netherlands last year suggested flu-like viruses actually fare worse in allergy season.
Whether or not pollen increases your risk of COVID-19 infection, it's certainly going to cause some sniffles.
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Leeds says it's important to know the difference between an allergy attack and a COVID-19 infection.
FEMA and the CDC posted to Twitter Monday to help people brush up on the differences in symptoms. The sneezing and red, itchy eyes of hay fever aren't present with COVID-19.
Leeds says that mask you're already wearing should help keep allergens out of your nose and mouth.
Leeds says in her patients, allergy symptoms were way down last year. But that's more likely due to stay-at-home orders than pollen counts.