MAYWOOD, Ill. (March 28) – The Gottlieb Allergy Count, gathered and reported by Joseph Leija, MD, will officially begin Monday, March 31. In preparation for this, Dr. Leija has been monitoring the air every day for the last week.
“I expect that mold will be an issue this year due to the large amount of snow we received this winter,” said Dr. Leija, who has performed the Gottlieb Allergy Count for more than two decades. “Pollen and grass also will be problematic as the weather improves because of the excess moisture in the Chicago area."
Dr. Leija performs the official daily allergy count for the Midwest on behalf of the National Allergy Bureau. Dr. Leija, an allergist, retired in 2012, but he continues to do the Gottlieb Allergy Count as a public health service for those who suffer from allergies and asthma.
“I encourage those who suffer from allergies to begin taking their medication and controlling environmental triggers now to prepare for allergy season,” Dr. Leija said. “Don’t wait until you have symptoms to treat them."
Dr. Leija is solely certified by the National Allergy Bureau to perform the count for the Midwest, and provides the results each weekday during the normal allergy season, which runs from March to October. Dr. Leija will begin the allergy count later this year due to the extended cold spell the Chicago area has endured.
Dr. Leija, an octogenarian, rises before dawn to collect specimens from his pollen-catching machine atop a building on the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in order to deliver the count to the public by 7 a.m. The Gottlieb Allergy Count will be available via Twitter (@GottliebAllergy), at Gottliebhospital.org and on the Gottlieb Allergy hotline 1-866-4-POLLEN (476-5536). Gottlieb Memorial Hospital is part of the Loyola University Health System, a member of CHE Trinity Health.