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Dangerous Mold Count Triggers Air Quality Alert

First Day of School May Mean First Sick Day As Allergy Sufferers Endure Headaches, Congestion

WHAT:  The Midwest is experiencing dangerous levels of mold in the air as the first dangerous air alert is called for the 2013 allergy reporting season. Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official allergy count for the Midwest, reports the  mold count  today is 53,000, a high for 2013, and  well over the 50,000 threshold that signals a dangerous air quality warning.

“The 90 degree heat, the humidity and the noxious levels of mold combined with the high levels of weed and ragweed pollen spell health hazards for many in the Midwest today,” said  Dr. Joseph Leija, allergist, who performs the Gottlieb Allergy Count, the only consistent allergy count for the Midwest. “Children are going back to school today and many may have their first sick day of the year due to breathing problems."

The official Gottlieb Allergy Count for today is: Grass – Moderate; Mold – Very High (Air Alert Status); Weeds – High; and Ragweed – High.

“Today’s outdoor air may cause headaches, congestion, fatigue and runny noses to those with sensitive respiratory systems, “ said Dr. Leija, who has performed the Gottlieb Allergy Count for more than two decades. “Keep windows closed and run the air conditioner to improve air quality."

Dr. Leija is available to the media today for interviews, to show today’s pollen catch and to demonstrate the count process. Media please call Stasia Thompson at (708) 417-5036.

Tips from Dr. Leija to safeguard your health include: rinsing nasal passages with saline solution to remove trapped particles, washing your hair before sleeping at night and staying indoors in air conditioning.

WHO:  Dr. Joseph Leija, allergist at Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, is solely certified by the National Allergy Bureau to perform the daily allergy count for the Midwest.

The Gottlieb Allergy Count is available free to the public through Twitter; at; and at  1-866-4-POLLEN (476-5536).
WHY:  An air quality alert has been called due to the high concentration of mold particles in the air – the threshold for an air quality alert is 50,000 and today’s count is 53,000.

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Media Relations

Stasia Thompson
Media Relations
Media Relations
(708) 216-8232