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article imageChicago's mold count rises to an all time high

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By Melissa Horrocks     Aug 9, 2012 in Environment
Grant Park - Kathy Oalde was busy gardening on Monday when she started feeling ill. Her chest started to feel heavy and her eyes itched intensely. Oalde, 64, took an allergy tablet, but the congestion she felt drove her into her air-conditioned Melrose Park home.
Microscopic mold spores are at their highest and this is causing suffering for many people. Individuals who are allergic to mold are suffering, due to the strange weather conditions that have caused rotten vegetation. On Monday, the mold count was at the highest in Chicago, reports Chicago Tribune.
Due to heavy rain and wind on Saturday it has caused high temperatures and humidity. Conditions in which mold thrives. This year, there has been an early start to the growing season, afterwards there was a drought that left many crops rotting in fields. Fierce storms ravaged across the state last weekend, causing conditions conducive to mold.
Allergy specialist offices are inundated with patients who need help. On Tuesday the mold count registered 64,000 spores. Mold grows rapidly and varies every day. Mornings are usually the worst. Although it is pleasant to see sunny skies and have nice temperatures, it is not great for allergy sufferers. These conditions cause spikes in mold growth.
A specialist at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, has said that mold counts are seriously high and the city is on alert for poor, air quality. Specialist allergist, Joseph Leija, conducts the daily official allergy count for the Midwest. Leija said that the mold growth is at the highest it has been for 15 years. Leija blames the continued high temperatures, humidity and rain for the mold spores growth.
Symptoms include sore, itchy throats, runny nose and feeling rundown. Keeping indoors, windows shut, using air conditioning and taking allergy tablets can help to reduce symptoms, according to ABC Local.
Whilst the flowers and trees in Grant Park are in full bloom, park visitors are unable to see the mold spores, swirling around in the air. Allergists say that a high mold count is an amount between 13,000 and 50,000. On Monday, the air count hit over 125,000, nearly triple the amount that prompts an official air quality alert for mold. People who suffer from mold allergy are advised to stay at home with their windows shut, according to CBS Chicago.
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