Highest weed count in 20 years - Fox 2 News Headlines

Highest weed count in 20 years

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Joseph Leija, MD, who created the Gottlieb Allergy Count at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, recorded the highest weed count in 20 years for Chicago and the highest ever for Gottlieb Allergy Count.

The weed count was over 1,000 today, and last year at this time the weed count was just 200. The most prevalent weed detected is Urtica, or nettle.

The reason for the unusual weed count? Weeds tend to be heartier than other plants and after this extreme winter, people are seeing more weeds such as nettles popping up in their yards and fields. Many Midwesterners took advantage of the nice weather this weekend and mowed lawns or did yard work including pulling weeds which can increase weed presence in the air.

In March, Dr. Leija predicted a pollen vortex and that a cyclone of allergens is here. All pollens except ragweed are now simultaneously at recordable levels triggering reactions in those with sensitive breathing systems.

Typical pollen seasons are: Trees in March to May; Grass in May to June; Weeds and Ragweed in mid-August to October and Mold all season long depending on dampness.

Leija says the continued back and forth between cold and warm temperatures combined with humidity, after the cold temperatures and snows of the polar vortex have created what he calls the pollen vortex. The traditional seasons for the different allergens have clumped together creating a solid front of problems for those with sensitive respiratory systems.

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