“The daily count was 59,000 (spores per cubic meter), and the threshold for dangerous levels is at 50,000,” said Allergist Dr. Joseph Leija, who performs a daily allergen count for the National Allergy Bureau. (Follow the daily allergen counts for the Midwest on his hospital's twitter feed @GottliebAllergy)
“Chicagoans will experience stuffy noses, post-nasal drip, scratchy throats, headaches and fatigue due to the high mold count in the air,” said Dr. Leija. “The mold count is dangerously high for those with chronic conditions such as lung or heart disease as well as asthma and breathing conditions.”
And the high mold count on record is just for the outdoors.
“The Midwest has suffered from repeated flooding and many homes may have toxic levels of mold due to the damp,” said Dr. Leija. “In addition to stagnant water, many sewer systems backed up and overflowed adding additional health risks.”
The Midwest suffered historic snowfalls this winter and the summer is proving to be a record-breaker as well with days of rainfall as well as continuous blazing heat.
Here some some suggestions as to how to reduce the impact of airborne mold:
- Stay indoors and avoid outdoor activity.
- Run air conditioning to lighten air by removing humidity.
- Run an air cleaner for mold with a HEPA, carbon and UV filters to remove airborne mold spores and mold mycotoxins.
- Rinse inner nostrils with saline solution to rinse trapped debris and moisten membranes.
- Avoid strenuous activity and rest.
- Talk to your allergist about adjusting prescribed medication.
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