For Release

August 23, 1996 AAAAI

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
611 E. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3889

Contact: Linda Bleimehl
Fax 414/272-6070


Bumper crop of ragweed expected in parts of the East, Midwest and Southwest;
Today's NAB report shows high mold spore counts across the U.S.

MILWAUKEE - A cool but rainy spring and early summer in the East and Midwest has provided fertile ground for weed growth, according to members of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's (AAAAI) National Allergy Bureau (NAB). In particular, ragweed pollen counts are high in these areas of the country, including parts of the Southwest due to hot and dry conditions.

According to Donald Pulver, M.D., Chair of the AAAAI's Aerobiology Committee, the ragweed season began a week early in the Northeast. "It's time to batten the hatches by closing your windows, turning on the air conditioner and staying indoors if you're allergic to ragweed," Dr. Pulver said.

Ragweed is at high levels in the Midwest and Northeast. It pollinates for approximately six to eight weeks at nearly the same period each year (mid-August to mid-October, or until the first frost). Each ragweed plant produces about one billion microscopic pollen grains during an average allergy season. "The pollen assault continues until temperatures dip below 29 degrees for two or three days in a row, which usually happens in October," Dr. Pulver added.

Cities expecting higher than normal ragweed counts this season are: Charlotte, NC; Colorado Springs, CO; Dallas, TX; DeKalb, IL; Fargo, ND; Fort Smith, AR; Indianapolis, IN; Louisville, KY; Nashville, TN; Newark, NJ; Oklahoma City, OK; Olean, NY; Omaha, NE; Rochester, NY; Scottsdale, AZ; Tucson, AZ; Waco, TX and Washington, DC.

Many cities across the country are expecting the fall ragweed season to be the same as last year. Those cities include: Erie, PA; Cape Girardeau, MO; Kalamazoo, MI; La Crosse, WI; Marshfield, WI; Milwaukee, WI; Sioux Falls, SD; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Sarasota, FL; Tallahassee, FL; Sacramento, CA; Salt Lake City, UT and Santa Fe, NM.

Areas along the West Coast, particularly Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Eugene, OR, Vancouver, WA and Seattle have little or no ragweed.

Mold spore counts are climbing across the country as the majority of AAAAI certified counting stations in the NAB are reporting high or very high levels. Outdoor mold spores begin to appear after a spring thaw and reach their peak in either July, August, September or October in the northern U.S. Mold National spores can be found all year long in the south. Mold grows on soil, vegetation and rotting wood. Today's data reported by NAB certified counting stations show the following high mold spore counts (shown in grains per cubic meter):

     Chelmsford, MA	11,888
     Cherry Hill, NJ	 6,498
     Dayton, OH		13,743
     Detroit, MI	18,225
     Fargo, ND		 7,366
     Grand Rapids, MI	 5,448
     Indianapolis, IN	13,916
     La Crosse, WI	12,818
     Lafayette, LA	 9,266
     Little Rock, AR	14,163
     Kalamazoo, MI	22,260
     Knoxville, TN	 5,897
     Mankato, MN	10,710
     Milwaukee, WI	 7,595
     Oklahoma City, OK	 3,181
     Philadelphia, PA	 4,985
     St. Louis, MO	 7,111
     Sarasota, FL	 6,550
     Tallahassee, FL	 4,728
     Waco, TX		 2,477
     Watertown, NY	 5,723
     Vancouver, WA	 7,038

The general public can get weekly updates of the National Allergy Bureau report by calling 1-800-9-POLLEN, the NAB's toll-free information line or visiting the NAB on-line.

The National Allergy Bureau is the nation's only network certified by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. As a certified network, the NAB has a standardized format for collecting pollen and spore samples. It has established 80 stations in 33 states and the District of Columbia, each managed by a physician and staffed by a uniformly trained and certified counter. Since 1992, the NAB has served as an information resource to the media by releasing the National Allergy Bureau Report every Thursday.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is the largest professional medical specialty organization representing allergists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals, and other physicians with a special interest in allergy. The Academy has over 5,000 members in the U.S., its possessions and Canada, and more than 300 members in 41 other countries.

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