WHAT: Chicago’s pollen count today hit an all-time high for the season. “Mold, weeds and ragweed are all high and also grass is high, which may surprise many people. The grass is corn grass and the high levels are caused by the seasonal harvesting of the corn as corn is a member of the botanical grass family,” said Dr. Joseph Leija, who performs the Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official allergy count for the Midwest. “Midwesterners with sensitive respiratory systems will feel general fatigue and experience itchy throats and runny noses."
The official Gottlieb Allergy Count today is: Mold - High, Grass - High, Weeds - High and Ragweed - High. “The alternating sunshine, humidity and hot temperatures combined with the recent rains the past few days have kept the mold count consistently high,” Dr. Leija said. “With the addition of the corn grass, headaches and sinus congestion will be common among Chicagoans today."
WHO: Dr. Joseph Leija, an allergist at Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, is solely certified by the National Allergy Bureau to perform the daily official allergy count for the Midwest. “Allergy sufferers should stay indoors, keep the windows closed, use their air conditioners and take their allergy medications,” he said.
The Gottlieb Allergy Count is available to the public by visiting www.GottliebHospital.org, calling 1-866-4-POLLEN (476-5536) and in English, Polish and Spanish, through Twitter.
WHEN: Dr. Leija is available to talk with reporters about the high counts, show what corn grass looks like as well as mold, ragweed and weed spores, offer tips and advice and demonstrate the allergy count collector atop a roof in the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in Melrose Park.
Call Stasia Thompson at (708) 417-5036 for interviews.