Extremely high mold count triggers dangerous air quality alert

August 13, 2014

A dangerous air quality alert was called today due to the extremely high count for mold detected in the Gottlieb Allergy Count.

"Today's mold count is the highest for the 2014 recording season," said Joseph Leija, MD, who created the Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official allergy count for the Midwest.

The Gottlieb Allergy Count today is: trees - low, mold - very high (dangerous air alert status), grass - moderate and weeds - moderate. "The was 53,000 today, well over the 50,000 threshold that triggers a high alert warning," Dr. Leija said.

How will this affect ?

"Tightening in the chest and extreme difficulty in breathing is what those with mold allergies will endure today," Leija said. "Temperatures today are in the 60s, extremely mild and breezy for August, which encourages people to open windows for fresh air. Bu if you have allergies, keep the windows closed and run the air conditioner to filter out allergens."

Typical pollen seasons are: Trees from March to May, grass from May to June, weeds/ragweed from mid-August to October and mold all season long, depending on dampness.

Leija said the recent warm, humid weather brought on the spike in mold spores. "Take your allergy medication, protect your breathing environment and get the daily free allergy count so you can monitor and adjust behavior and medication for optimum health," he said.

Every weekday morning at 4:30 a.m. for the past two decades Dr. Leija has climbed the stairs to a rooftop on the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus, located just outside of Chicago. There he maintains a scientific pollen-catching machine developed in Britain during World War II to detect poison in the air. The machine records particles in two-minute intervals during a 24-hour period.

Dr. Leija, 84, takes the glass slide with the day's catch and meticulously identifies and counts every spore using a microscope. He uses an algorithm created by the National Allergy Bureau to calculate the official allergy count for the Midwest by 7 a.m.

"People with respiratory conditions need to know the allergy count early in the morning so they can take the right medication and make adjustments in their routine to improve their health," said Dr. Leija, who provides the media and the community with the numbers at no charge. "Several broadcast networks and Chicago's largest newspaper report the Gottlieb Allergy Count daily so I am up at 4 a.m.to get the process started."

Dr. Leija is the only allergist in the Midwest certified by the National Allergy Bureau to report the official allergy count of the Midwest. He follows a complex series of algorithms to arrive at the daily and his numbers are used by the association in their daily national reports of allergy activity.

Explore further: Highest mold count recorded for the 2014 allergy season

Related Stories

Highest mold count recorded for the 2014 allergy season

May 29, 2014
The official allergy count for the Midwest today documented the highest count for mold in the 2014 allergy recording season. "The mold count is around 30,000, which is high but not at air quality alert status, which is 50,000," ...

Dangerous air quality alert issued for toxic mold

September 7, 2012
The Midwest is under an air quality alert for dangerous levels of mold. The Midwest mold count today is 60,000 – well over the 50,000 threshold that signals a dangerous air quality warning.

Spring allergies linked to some food allergies, specialist says

April 8, 2014
People sensitive to today's high tree pollen count for birch and oak could also be susceptible to allergies with carrots, celery and almonds.

Video: Air moisture making allergies worse indoors and outdoors

April 10, 2014
As the snowy winter of 2014 winds down, Loyola allergy specialist Dr. Joseph Leija tells WJOL radio that the Midwest will likely see high counts for mold and pollen this year. Allergy symptoms seem like they're at their the ...

Recommended for you

Immune system can be modulated by targeted manipulation of cell metabolism

August 21, 2017
In its attempt to fight a serious bacterial infection, caused by listeria, for example, the immune system can become so over-activated that the resulting inflammatory response and its consequences can quickly lead to death. ...

Australian researchers in peanut allergy breakthrough

August 17, 2017
Australian researchers have reported a major breakthrough in the relief of deadly peanut allergy with the discovery of a long-lasting treatment they say offers hope that a cure will soon be possible.

Genetic variants found to play key role in human immune system

August 16, 2017
It is widely recognized that people respond differently to infections. This can partially be explained by genetics, shows a new study published today in Nature Communications by an international collaboration of researchers ...

Study identifies a new way to prevent a deadly fungal infection spreading to the brain

August 16, 2017
Research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered a way to stop a deadly fungus from 'hijacking' the body's immune system and spreading to the brain.

Biophysics explains how immune cells kill bacteria

August 16, 2017
(Tokyo, August 16) A new data analysis technique, moving subtrajectory analysis, designed by researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology, defines the dynamics and kinetics of key molecules in the immune response to an infection. ...

How a nutrient, glutamine, can control gene programs in cells

August 15, 2017
The 200 different types of cells in the body all start with the same DNA genome. To differentiate into families of bone cells, muscle cells, blood cells, neurons and the rest, differing gene programs have to be turned on ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bill_Anderson
not rated yet Aug 13, 2014
My child is allergic to dust mites, mold and grass pollen (I as well - all officially validated) and we have found relief in a super fruit, vegetable and seed extract (primarily freeze dried) juice. I already knew we were not getting the necessary amounts of fruits and veggies but to have this drink fix our congestion and drip symptoms was absolutely amazing. I've also been receiving great feedback from friends and colleagues who suffer similarly.

The nutritional beverage is the product I'm referring to (site below) although pomegranate ignite is also based on this drink (but has caffeine). I have tried all of the major pharma types and have had no luck and have thankfully found a natural alternative. I believe the quercetin, grape seed extract and high vitamin C have documented evidence regarding allergy relief. Other nutrients in the 20+ other fruit, veggies and seed extracts could also be contributing factors.

http://www.sozolife.com/ba

Best of luck this allergy season!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.