Chicago weather: Highest mold count of the year triggers Dangerous Air Quality Alert

Larry Mowry Image
Wednesday, October 5, 2016

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Dangerous Air Quality Alert is in effect across the Chicago area because of very high mold levels in the air.

According to Dr. Joseph Leija at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, a reading taken Wednesday showed a mold count of 70,000 - the highest level so far this year. Dr. Leija said the mold increase is due to recent rain and humidity.

Dr. Leija said people who are highly allergic or sensitive to mold should avoid outdoor activities. Those who are allergic to mold may experience runny nose, congestion, sinus pressure, headache, cough, hoarseness, sinusitis and tiredness.

To help lessen the impact, Dr. Leija advises running your air conditioner to filter the air, using a dehumidifier in the basement, and taking allergy medication according to your allergist's orders. You can also wash your hair at night to remove trapped allergens so you can breathe easier as you sleep.

Dr. Leija said that once or twice a year the count will go over 50,000 for mold. The highest recorded level was 82,000.

WATCH: ABC7 First Alert Weather Forecast