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Today's Air Quality Alert for Mold Warns of Breathing Trouble

Third Alert This Month, Loyola Allergist Says

WHAT:  Chicago’s mold count today is 60,000 – more than  the 50,000 threshold that triggers a dangerous air quality warning.

“Three air quality alerts in 11 days means serious respiratory trouble for many with asthma, allergies and sensitive systems,” said Dr. Joseph Leija, who performs the Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official allergy count for the Midwest. “Symptoms will include fatigue, congestion and headaches."

The official Gottlieb Allergy Count today is: Mold - Very High, Weeds - Moderate, Ragweed - Moderate.

“The much needed rains in this drought-ridden area are a relief to farmers and gardeners but combined with hot, sunny and humid days they make for toxic breathing conditions,” Dr. Leija said. “Ragweed is also now contaminating the air at moderate levels and that is the allergen that brings the most misery to allergy sufferers."

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."

“Run the air conditioning to take moisture out of the air and filter out toxins, try to stay indoors as much as possible and contact your allergist to discuss adjusting medications,” Dr. Leija advised to those most at risk today.

The Gottlieb Allergy Count is available to the public at, 1-866-4-POLLEN (476-5536) and in English, Polish and Spanish via Twitter.
WHEN:  Dr. Leija is available today to talk with reporters about the high mold count, show what mold, tree, ragweed and weed spores look like, offer tips and advice and demonstrate the device that captures allergens atop the roof of Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park.

Call Stasia Thompson at (708) 417-5036 for interviews.

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