Chicago Weather: New highest tree pollen count recorded for Midwest

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The highest tree pollen reading in the history of The Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official allergy count for the Midwest, was recorded on Monday.

Dr. Joseph Leija measured more than 2,300 spores to the square cubic meter around 5 a.m. Monday, topping Friday's historic tree pollen count of 2,000 spores to the square cubic meter.

A dangerous air quality alert was issued Monday due to the "Very High" reading for tree pollen. Grass was "Low," mold was "Moderate" and weeds were also "Moderate." Officials said this was the first time in the 2015 allergy season all four pollen fields were active in the count.


On Thursday, no records were broken, but temperatures soared into the 80s in Chicago. It was the warmest day of the year so far. But with the heat and wind comes pollen and allergies.

Dr. Bandi, an allergist at Rush University Medical Center, has seen a gradual increase in the number of people dealing with seasonal allergies. It's not just tree pollen that is causing the problem.

"The rain is a huge issue as well," says Dr. Bandi. "Particularly now, we've seen a lot of rainy days which contributes to higher pollen dispersal and higher counts as well."

The dangerously high pollen levels can be especially harmful to people who have certain types of asthma. The onset of summer-like heat also releases irritants that affect seasonal allergy sufferers.

Though tree pollen will likely fall slowly over the next several weeks, weed and mold levels are expected to rise, continuing the discomfort for allergy sufferers.
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