Chicago’s tree pollen count today is 1,600 – well over the 1,500 threshold that triggers a dangerous air quality warning.
“After only seven days of allergy-count recording, we are documenting the first air quality alert in the 2012 allergy reporting season,” said Joseph Leija, MD, allergist, Loyola University Health System, who is solely certified by the National Allergy Bureau to perform the daily official allergy count for the Midwest. “This is the first day of spring and this air quality alert will make many Midwesterners very miserable."
The official Gottlieb Allergy Count today is: Trees - Very High, Grass - Low, Mold - Low , Weeds - Moderate and Ragweed - Low.
“Ragweed in March is unheard of in the Midwest; I have never seen an allergy count so unusual,” said Dr. Leija, who performs the allergy count at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital where he practices medicine. "The warm March temperatures and sunny skies have encouraged the early budding of trees and flowers and my phones at Gottlieb are ringing with sufferers seeking relief."
Headaches, sinus congestion, runny noses and fatigue will be common among Chicagoans today.
“The recent rains followed by warm, sunny, summerlike temperatures have created the dangerously high tree pollen count,” he said. “Allergy sufferers should stay indoors, keep the windows closed, use their air conditioners and take their allergy medications."
The Gottlieb Allergy Count is available to the public, in English, Polish and Spanish via Twitter; www.GottliebHospital.org and at 1-866-4-POLLEN (476-5536).