The warm spell witnessed last weekend led to high levels of hazel, alder, and yew pollen registered in the air, reveals ISP (Scientific Institute for Public Health) on Thursday. Although the levels are standard for this time of year, they do mark the beginning of the pollen season. “At the start of the pollen season, pollen from hazel, alder, yew, and cypress trees are shed, but they affect relatively few allergy sufferers,” according to Lucie Hoebeke, from the mycology and aerobiology department at ISP.
The pollen season moves from one year to the next but is generally worse towards the end of March when the birch pollen, which affects a lot of people, starts with a vengeance. Various grasses then take over in May, June, and July, followed by mugwort which finished up the season around September-time. Allergenic “fungus spores” can also appear between July and September, and they can cause allergy attacks, adds ISP.
15 to 20% of the population gets bad hay fever. The pollen calendar is regularly updated on www.airallergy.be.