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Released: 5/30/2007

Winnebago County Pollen Count Report Begins

Contact:         Sue Fuller, Community Relations & Marketing Manager

Phone:             815/720-4213

Date:               May 29, 2007

           

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Winnebago County Health Department’s 2007 Annual Pollen Count Report Begins

Pollen Count Hotline Number 815/720-4140

The Winnebago County Health Department Laboratory has begun the 2007 Annual Pollen Count Report and will continue until the first frost or approximately the second week of October. The daily pollen counts consist of Mold spores, Tree, Grass and Weed pollen.

POLLEN LEVELS:       0 – 20            LOW             

                                    20 – 100          MODERATE  

                                   OVER 100        HIGH   

                                                           

MOLD LEVELS:             0 – 500        LOW

                                    501 – 1500      MODERATE  
                                    OVER 1500     HIGH

           The daily pollen report is recorded at 10:00 a.m. Monday thru Friday. The pollen Count Hotline Number is 815/720-4140. If you have any questions on the daily pollen count, please call 815/720- 4141, or contact the Environmental Health Laboratory at

815/720-4142.

WHY COUNT POLLEN?

            In the past, a diagnosis of spring fever, June cold, or fall catarrh was largely just descriptive names. Observant clinicians described these conditions as best as they could, including associated symptoms and characteristic seasonal patterns. The root of the problem, however, remained ill understood. The advent of the fields of immunology and microbiology led to a clearer understanding of infections. In the case of allergic diseases, an uncharacterized infection was felt to be the cause; hence the word “fever” appeared in the medical literature on the subject.

           

The next advance came when some field research and clever deductive reasoning elucidated the role plant pollen play in causing allergies. The incremental nature of our understanding was forever captured in the term hay fever. Pollen counting emerged as the means to fully understand the cause of hay fever.

            Today, many suppose we have moved beyond the need for pollen counts. We know a great deal more about the pathophysiology of allergic disease than our medical predecessor. Processes ranging from whole organs down to the molecular level are well understood. Genetic materials are now routinely characterized and modified in efforts to deal with allergic disease at its base.

            Pollen counts indicate the symptoms experienced by a broad population. Several studies have shown that when the pollen counts increase, so do allergy symptoms in the allergic population.

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