Friday, May 13, 2011

Chicago Tree Pollen Count Dangerously High

Friday the 13th Begins With Air Quality Alert Warning

WHAT: Chicago’s tree pollen count today is 1,500, triggering a dangerous air quality warning. Today’s tree pollen count is the highest of the last three years. “Itchy eyes, stuffy noses and fatigue will be common among Chicagoans with sensitive respiratory systems,” said Dr Joseph Leija, allergist.

WHO: Dr. Joseph Leija, allergist at Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, is solely certified by the National Allergy Bureau to perform the official daily allergy count for the Midwest. “The late spring warm-up, rain and the barometric pressure change – all these elements combine to create the dangerously high tree pollen count,” he said of today’s record count. “Allergy sufferers should stay indoors, keep the windows closed, use their air conditioners and take their allergy medications.” Every weekday morning Dr. Leija climbs the stairs to the rooftop of Gottlieb Memorial Hospital where he maintains a special pollen-catching machine. He carries the specimens to his office where he examines them under a microscope to formulate the official allergy count for the Midwest. Dr. Leija is considered a regional expert on allergies. WHEN/WHERE: Dr Leija is available today to talk with reporters about the high count, show what actual tree spores look like under his microscope, offer advice and demonstrate the mechanics of the Gottlieb Allergy Count. Patients are available for interviews.

Gottlieb Memorial Hospital 701 W. North Ave. Melrose Park, IL 60160


Elm, Oak, Mulberry – see the tree spores that triggered the air quality alert.

Talk with patients about their misery. Please call Stasia Thompson, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital media relations, at (708) 417-5036 or (708) 945-4378 for interviews.

About Loyola University Health System

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is part 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. Loyola University Medical Center’s campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of Chicago’s Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. At 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 Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago 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.

Trinity Health is a national Catholic health system with an enduring legacy and a steadfast mission to be a transforming and healing presence within the communities we serve. Trinity is committed to being a people-centered health care system that enables better health, better care and lower costs. Trinity Health has 88 hospitals and hundreds of continuing care facilities, home care agencies and outpatient centers in 21 states and 119,000 employees.