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Today is Like a Pollen Tsunami, According to Chicago Allergy Count Report

WHAT:  High tree, grass and weed pollen and high mold spore counts were seen in today’s Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official allergy report for the Midwest.

“This is a pollen tsunami and those with sensitive respiratory systems need to keep the windows closed despite the beautiful, sunny weather,” said Joseph Leija, MD, Loyola University Health System, who reports the allergy count.  “The warm, humid temperatures over the weekend served as an incubator for mold, grass, weeds and trees and this is the highest count of the 2013 reporting season."

Leija’s tips for improved health include running the air conditioner, rinsing nasal passages with sterile saline solution and washing one’s hair before bed.

For two decades, Leija has been performing the Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official allergy count for the Midwest, on behalf of the National Allergy Bureau.  In 2012, Leija retired from seeing patients, but he continues his public health crusade for improved breathing by performing the Gottlieb Allergy Count.

Media are invited to interview Dr. Leija at Gottlieb about the high counts, see today’s pollen under the microscope and experience the Gottlieb Allergy Count process atop the roof of a Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus building.

MEDIA: Please call Stasia Thompson at (708) 417-5036.
Gottlieb Memorial Hospital is located at 701 W. North Ave. Melrose Park, Ill.

WHO:  Dr. Joseph Leija, allergist at Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, is solely certified by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology to perform the official allergy count for the Midwest, which usually lasts from April to October. Dr. Leija began reporting the count two weeks early this year, on March 18, due to elevated pollen counts.  With the mild winter season and slow spring, the practice he founded is seeing a dramatic increase in those suffering from respiratory illness and allergies.

Dr. Leija, an octagenerian, rises before dawn to collect specimens from his pollen-catching machine atop a Gottlieb campus building and delivers the count to the public by 7 a.m. The Gottlieb Allergy Count is available through Twitter, at and at 1-866-4-POLLEN (476-5536.)

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Media Relations

Stasia Thompson
Media Relations
Media Relations
(708) 216-8232