First “dangerous air alert” of the year issued for allergens

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According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 50 million people across the country suffer from allergies. Allergy rates among children have been on the rise in recent years, with one study indicating that the severity of these reactions is routinely underestimated. Recently, the Loyola University Health System announced that the first "dangerous air alert" of the year has been issued in the Midwest by the Gottlieb Allergy Count.

"Children are going back-to-school today and many may have their first sick day of the year due to breathing problems," said allergist Dr. Joseph Leija in a press release. The official figures revealed a mold count of 53,000, which is 3,000 over the threshold for dangerous air. Exposure to these airborne spores can incite classic allergy symptoms including sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion and a runny nose.

"Today's outdoor air may cause headaches, congestion, fatigue and runny noses to those with sensitive respiratory systems," Dr. Leija wrote in his report, issuing a recommendation that people in the Midwest keep their windows closed and run air conditioners if possible.

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