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What is the difference between COVID-19 and allergy symptoms? How do you properly use latex gloves?

Local 24 News has answers to those current, top-of-mind coronavirus questions

MEMPHIS, Tennessee —

There is a lot of information out there when it comes to protecting yourself from the coronavirus. Sometimes, it can feel a bit overwhelming, but there are issues health providers have seen that must be addressed.

Let's set the record straight. Those latex gloves used to protect yourself from the spread of COVID-19 are for one time use only. 

"It kind of defeats the purpose for somebody to put a pair of gloves on and wear them all day," said Dr. Dale Criner, Saint Francis Bartlett Emergency Department Medical Director. 

Dr. Criner said it's okay to wear latex gloves, but they are not 100% effective. 

"The gloves don't really necessarily protect germ spread, and sometimes they can give a false sense of security because people think they're protected by wearing gloves. Really, instead of having germs on your hands, now you have germs on your gloves," said Dr. Criner. 

It is important to still wipe down items you touch with or without gloves. Wash your hands and properly toss gloves away. 

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"What we've seen is people will throw them everywhere. We've seen them in parking lots. We've seen them in parks. We see them in the hospital sometimes in the hallway," said Dr. Criner. "It's just completely terrible for the environment. You can't keep doing that. You've got to put them in a trash can where they're supposed to go."

Another concern is for COVID-19 and allergy symptoms. It is allergy season. How can you distinguish from the two?

"If you're really trying to tell the difference between the two, we will typically see fever, body aches, headache, nausea and things like that with COVID symptoms," said Dr. Criner. "Allergies again are more of the itchy watery eyes, the dripping nose, runny nose and sneezing.

Dr. Criner said it can get tricky when it comes to a sore throat because that symptom can appear for both COVID-19 and allergies. If you feel you need medical attention, it is best to contact your provider. 

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