02 October 2020

THE REAL POLLEN COUNT: No relief for allergy sufferers in Bloem, as pollen levels remain high

Along with Bloemfontein, tree pollen counts also continue to be very high in Gauteng and Cape Town this week.

Amid the highest recorded pollen counts in history, Health24 will be bringing you exclusive pollen count updates courtesy of the UCT Lung Institute's Allergy and Immunology Unit.

Here are the major city updates for 1 October:

Cape Town (Western Cape)

Current pollen levels are unavailable. Typical flowering tree types for this period are oak, olive, plane, pine, yellowwood, poplar, Rhus/Searsia, chestnut and poplar.

Weeds found at this time are English Plantain, the daisy family and Caryophyllaceae (the pink or carnation family). Grass levels are moderate at this time of year and moulds are low.

Count: 46 (high) 

Johannesburg  (Gauteng)

Significant tree levels were detected as acacia, , Araucaria (Captain Cook pine), birch, bush willow,cypress, coral, ash, jacaranda, white mulberry, gum, olive, pine, yellowwood, willow, Rhus/Searsia, plane, poplar and oak continued to flower.

Weed levels were lo and the types included rape, the pink or carnation family, Caryophyllaceae, goosefoot, the daisy family, English Plantain, Euphorbia, the lime tree/shrub and erica. Grasses and moulds were low.

Count: 54 (very high) 

Pretoria (Gauteng)

Tree levels have decreased but birch, white stinkwood, oak, white mulberry, pine, yellowwood, Rhus/Searsia, Casuarina and acacia are still releasing pollen. Weed levels were low and only English Plantain was detected. Grass and mould levels were low.

Count: 11 (moderate) 

Bloemfontein (Orange Free State)

Tree levels remained high as ash and olive flowered strongly. Other tree pollen detected included cypress, white mulberry, pine, yellowwood, willow, white stinkwood, birch, oak, plane and Casuarina.

Weed levels were low and only the types, English Plantain, Stoebe (slangbos), protea and the daisy family were detected. Grasses were low and mould levels were very low

Count: 120 (very high) 

Kimberley (Northern Cape)

Tree levels were low but varied. Types included: willow, Rhus/Searsia, ash, pine, yellowwood, cypress, white stinkwood and white mulberry. Scanty weed levels were detected and these included Euphorbia and the daisy family. Grasses were low. Moulds were very low.

Count: 9 (moderate) 

Durban (KZN)

Low but varied tree pollen was detected. The types included pine yellowwood, birch, cypress, plane, acacia, gum, white stinkwood and olive.

Weed levels were low and only the types Stoebe (slangbos) and English Plantain were detected. Moulds were generally low but significant levels were detected for Epicoccum on some days.

Count: 8 (moderate)

Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape)

Tree levels were low and included the types pine, yellowwood, gum, waxberry and Casuarina, Weeds were low and included Caryophyllaceae, the pink or carnation family, Euphorbia, sedges and erica. Grass and mould levels were low.

Count: 5 (low) 

See the full report HERE.

Reference ranges:Overall, Trees, Grasses and Weeds all use the same values (grains per cubic metres of air)

Overall count is the daily average of pollen grains per cubic metres of air (trees plus grasses plus weeds)

In partnership with the UCT Lung Institute's Allergy and Immunology Unit.

As the pollen problem worsens, precise and expanded monitoring becomes even more essential. And here's how you can help.

Image: Pexels/Edward Jenner


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Allergy expert

Dr Morris is the Principal Allergist at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Allergy Clinics with postgraduate diplomas in Allergology, Dermatology, Paediatrics and Family Medicine dealing with both adult and childhood allergies.

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