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September 10, 2013
Midwest Experiences an Air Quality Alert Due to Mold
Highest mold count recorded for the 2013 allergy reporting season
If the unseasonable heat that is blanketing the Midwest doesn’t affect area residents, the highest mold count for the 2013 allergy reporting season probably will. The Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official allergy count for the Midwest, reports the mold count today is 85,000, a high for 2013, and well over the 50,000 threshold that triggers a dangerous air quality warning.
“These recent days of hot temperatures and high humidity have created high mold growth,” said Dr. Joseph Leija, allergist, who performs the Gottlieb Allergy Count, the only consistent allergy count for the Midwest. “Keep the air conditioning running, take your medication and try to avoid going outside.”
The official Gottlieb Allergy Count for today is: Grass - Low, Mold - Very High, Weeds - Moderate and Ragweed - Moderate.
“Today’s outdoor air may cause headaches, congestion and runny noses to those with sensitive respiratory systems, “ said Dr. Leija, who has performed the Gottlieb Allergy Count for more than two decades. “It is also corn harvesting season so the grass count reflects the presence of corn grass and the fall allergy season of ragweed is in full bloom."
Dr. Leija will offer the Gottlieb Allergy Count until Tuesday, Oct. 15, this season.
Tips from Dr. Leija to safeguard your health include rinsing nasal passages with saline solution to remove trapped particles, washing your hair before sleeping at night and staying indoors in air conditioning.
The Gottlieb Allergy Count is available free to the public via Twitter, at www.GottliebHospital.org and at 1-866-4-POLLEN (476-5536).
Dr. Leija is available today to talk with reporters about the air quality alert, the very high mold count, offer interviews with allergy patients, show what mold spores and grass, ragweed and weed pollen look like, offer advice and demonstrate how he gathers the allergy count atop a campus roof at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park. Call Stasia Thompson at (708) 417-5036 for media interviews.
Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.