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Sinus Infection vs COVID: Are Sinus Infections Contagious like COVID-19?

With thousands of cases confirmed each day since it first appeared last, COVID-19 has caused a global pandemic that has rightly made many question the root cause of any and every ailment they experience. In particular, symptoms like those experienced during a sinus infection can overlap with symptoms characteristic of Covid, so knowing the difference between the two is important. That’s why Florida Sinus & Snoring Specialists has written this short guide to each.

What is a Sinus Infection?

Known in clinical terms as sinusitis, a sinus infection is a condition in which the nasal passageways around sinuses (small cavities of air around the nose and forehead) become irritated and inflamed. Sinus infections can be experienced both acutely and chronically, depending on the cause. Common causes of sinus infections are:

  • Allergies
  • Anatomical factors (deviated septum, nasal polyps,)
  • Medical conditions (cystic fibrosis, respiratory tract infections suppressed immune system)
  • Smoking 
  • Exposure to bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other pollutants.
  • facial pain/pressure
  • headaches
  • nasal drainage and congestion
  • decreased or loss of sense of smell
  • tooth pain
  • fever 
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • bad breath 

What Is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a highly transmissible disease that occurs after exposure to the coronavirus SARS-COV 2. 

Covid manifests itself in multifaceted ways, ranging from asymptomatic to mild to life-threatening symptoms. As highlighted by health institutions worldwide, typical signs of a COVID-19 can be any of the following:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

In dire cases, Covid can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular failure.

Sinus Infection vs Covid

Understandably, a common question we are receiving right now at Florida Sinus & Snoring Specialists is whether sinus infections are anything like Covid.

The short answer is not really, though the long answer is slightly more complicated.

Ultimately, a substantial difference between a sinus infection vs Covid lies in the fact that Covid has the potential to be deadly, while sinus infections, debilitating and painful as they can be, are far more innocuous. In addition, while Covid is always caused by a virus, sinus infections have multiple potential sources.

Still, because both conditions share similar observable symptoms, differentiating between the two can be a difficult task at first. In addition, while Covid is unequivocally far more contagious than a sinus infection, it is theoretically possible to spread a sinus infection if its root cause is a virus. 

All said and done, Covid and sinus infections share subtle characteristics that make one seem mistakable for the other, but their fundamental natures are nothing alike.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and cannot accurately determine what’s causing them Florida Sinus & Snoring Specialists recommends contacting your physician and getting tested for COVID-19.

In addition, remember to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, practice social distance, and wear a mask as much as possible.  

Sinus Problems? Contact Dr. Mandel Today

Dr. Mandel and his expert team at Florida Sinus & Snoring Specialists, Inc. are proud to offer effective treatments tailored to your particular situation. Let us help you improve your quality of life by providing you with top-notch medical care and service. Call to request an appointment at 954-983-1211 or fill out our online appointment form today.