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Allergy

28 February 2020

THE REAL POLLEN COUNT: No relief for allergy sufferers in the northern part of SA as high pollen levels hit Bloemfontein and Kimberley

The northern part of the country, including the coast, continue to experience high grass counts 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 27 February:

Cape Town (Western Cape)

The levels for this week were modelled on 10 years of archived data and current weather patterns. Grasses were low, tree pollen was low and included the types; eucalyptus, white stinkwood and olive. Weeds included goosefoot, the daisy family and dandelion. Mould levels were low.

Count: 5 (low) [Last week: 2 (very low)]

Johannesburg (Gauteng)

Grass concentrations were moderate throughout this sampling week occurring >10g/m3 on each  day. Trees were very low and included the types: cypress, pinus and eucalyptus. Weeds were similarly very low and only Chenopodiaceace (Goosefoot) was detected.

Moulds were the highest occurring aeropora and included Aspergillus/Penicillium, Cladosporium and Ascospores having the highest counts

Count: 20 (high) [Last week: 18 (moderate)]

Pretoria (Gauteng)

Grass concentrations were moderate to high throughout the week again occurring >10g/m3 on each  day.  Trees were low and included the types: eucalyptus and Cypress Low weed concentrations included: Chenopodiaceace (Goosefoot).

Moulds were the highest occurring palynomorphs and included Aspergillus/Penicillium, Cladosporium and Ascospores having the highest counts.

Count: 32 (high) [Last week: 35 (high)]

Kimberley (Northern Cape)

Grasses were moderate to high at this site. Tree pollen levels were low and consisted of olive, cypress and rhus. Weeds included low levels for goosefoot and ragweed. Mould levels were generally low, but high levels of the allergenic mould: Alternaria were detected throughout the week.

Count: 57 (very high) [Last week: 12 (moderate)]

Durban (KZN)

Grass levels were high at this sampling site, and have increased since last week. Tree loads also increased relative to the previous week, and were dominated by birch, with eucalyptus, white stinkwood and pine also recorded. Weed levels were low, including ragweed. Moulds were low.

Count: 40 (high) [Last week: 45 (high)]

Port Elizabeth

Grasses were low at this site and no tree or weed pollen was detected. Mould levels were low but ascospores increased following rain.

Count: 1 (very low) [Last week: 5 (low)]

Bloemfontein

High to very high grass levels were seen throughout the sampling week at this site. Low tree levels included olive, buddleja and cypress. Weed levels were low and included the daisy family and goosefoot. Mould levels were low overall but high levels were detected throughout the week for Alternaria.

Count: 129 (very high) [Last week: 97 (very high)]

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: iStock

 

Ask the Expert

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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