WHAT: Chicago’s mold count today is 60,000 – more than the 50,000 threshold that triggers a dangerous air quality warning.
“Three air quality alerts in 11 days means serious respiratory trouble for many with asthma, allergies and sensitive systems,” said Dr. Joseph Leija, who performs the Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official allergy count for the Midwest. “Symptoms will include fatigue, congestion and headaches."
The official Gottlieb Allergy Count today is: Mold - Very High, Weeds - Moderate, Ragweed - Moderate.
“The much needed rains in this drought-ridden area are a relief to farmers and gardeners but combined with hot, sunny and humid days they make for toxic breathing conditions,” Dr. Leija said. “Ragweed is also now contaminating the air at moderate levels and that is the allergen that brings the most misery to allergy sufferers."
WHO: Dr. Joseph Leija, an allergist at Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, is solely certified by the National Allergy Bureau to perform the daily official allergy count for the Midwest."
“Run the air conditioning to take moisture out of the air and filter out toxins, try to stay indoors as much as possible and contact your allergist to discuss adjusting medications,” Dr. Leija advised to those most at risk today.
The Gottlieb Allergy Count is available to the public at www.GottliebHospital.org, 1-866-4-POLLEN (476-5536) and in English, Polish and Spanish via Twitter.
WHEN: Dr. Leija is available today to talk with reporters about the high mold count, show what mold, tree, ragweed and weed spores look like, offer tips and advice and demonstrate the device that captures allergens atop the roof of Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park.
Call Stasia Thompson at (708) 417-5036 for interviews.