Atlanta allergists issued a warning for U.S. citizens who suffer from allergies as Monday’s pollen count far exceeded any expectations this early in the year. At the start of the week, allergists at Atlanta Allergy and Asthma group witnessed record-breaking pollen count of 1,289 grains per cubic centimeter of air. Allergists consider anything between the 90 and 1,499-marker as high pollen count, while everything above 1,500 grains per cubic centimeter of air is flagged as extreme concentration.
Even though Monday’s records places the pollen count under high concentration, falling just under extreme, professionals declared they are still worried about allergic people who will have to go through this year’s season. Atlanta Allergy and Asthma’s Dr. Kevin Shaffer says it is unusual for allergists to see such high concentrations this early in the year.
The earliest a count exceeding the 1,000-marker was recorded on March 18th, 2016. Even at that point, allergists say, the values exceeded their expectations.
A sound theory as to why such elevated counts have been recorded refers to the unseasonably warm weather that signaled trees to begin pollinating too early. Schaffer said the winter that is running the final stretch was relatively warm with good amounts of rain and high temperatures. Hence, the trees started pollinating.
Furthermore, most of the pollen circulating on Monday, February 20th, came from various trees, including Elm, Juniper, Sweetgum, Oak, and Alder. The mix of pollen also interested the allergists, as Sweetgum and Oak usually pollinate late in the year.
Fortunately, the pollen counts dropped during the rest of the week. Hence, on Tuesday, the allergists recorded a pollen count of 387 grains per cubic centimeter of air and Wednesday’s count fell to 140. Even so, professionals still worry that allergic people might be served with an awful season this year. If the temperatures don’t drop soon, the pollen count will rise once more and later can even exceed 1,500 grains per cubic centimeter and stay high throughout the rest of the season.
If this happens, people allergic to pollen are recommended to take a shower when arriving home, change their clothes, and turn the air conditioner on to filter the allergen out.
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