Riding the subway and hear someone next to you sneeze? It may not be what you fear. The rise of coronavirus, which has infected close to 100,000 people worldwide and spread to roughly 90 nations, coincides with the arrival of spring — and the time of year when seasonal allergies typically emerge. But when is it just a run-in with pollen, or something more serious? “One of the things to know with COVID-19: runny nose is rarely a component of the illness,” says Dr. Marta Feldmesser, chief of medicine of infectious diseases at Lenox Hill Hospital. “So if people [around you] start sneezing, that’s not something that should trigger concerns.” Feldmesser says that only around 5% of the first 1,100 cases in China exhibited any nasal symptoms.
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