Pollen is in the air: Over 5,000 check in to PIMS with allergies

Published: March 13, 2018
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Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, Pakistan. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, Pakistan. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: As the number of pollen grains increased in the air last week, the numbers of patients have also swelled in the hospitals. According to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) about 5000 patients suffering from allergy visited the hospital for treatment in the last one week.

With the advent of spring season in which there is an increase in allergy and respiratory diseases, the hospital has set up a pollen allergy centre. Emergency department remain open for all patients of pollen allergy with nebulisers to prevent respiratory failure, hospital said. Emergency doctors and pollen allergy chest specialist 24 hours are on high alert for the treatment of serious patients.

A sharp increase in pollen concentrations has been recorded in the last week that remained around 5,000 per cubic meter of air. The Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD) raises a high alert when the pollen count reaches the level of 1,500 per cubic metre of air.

The concentration rose to around 10,000 on Sunday and reached to 20,292 per cubic meter of air on Monday in sector H-8, according to Pakistan Metrological Department as the plant of Paper Mulberry is in abundance in the area. In other sectors the concentration was recorded as 6647 in sector E-8, 5508 in sector G-6, 2498 in sector F-10.

Rainy spell during the first week of March delayed the on set of pollen season in Islamabad but as the raining spell ended the pollen grains increased in the air.

Officials said the number of grains are going to be increased in coming days. The average concentration level is 40,000 thus the number of grains would increase between 40,000 to 50,000, said Dr. Mohammad Tahir, Deputy Director, Research and Development Division, PMD.  Though rain is expected on Wednesday and Thursday that would suppress the grains but their presence would still be high, more than 1500 count due to high concentration in the air, he adding  as the raining spell ends they would increase  again. Pollen season is expected to end by mid April. 

Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2018. 

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