0

Pollen count drops, still considered extremely high

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Nicole Jackson of Lawrenceville and her two sons Nicolas, 3, and Anderson, 1, eat their Rita's Ice on the lawn at the Suwanee Town Center on Tuesday. According to officials a record high pollen count of 9,369 particles of pollen per cubic meter was measured in metro Atlanta on Tuesday. Surpassing Monday's measurement of 8,164.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Nicole Jackson of Lawrenceville and her two sons Nicolas, 3, and Anderson, 1, eat their Rita's Ice on the lawn at the Suwanee Town Center on Tuesday. According to officials a record high pollen count of 9,369 particles of pollen per cubic meter was measured in metro Atlanta on Tuesday. Surpassing Monday's measurement of 8,164.

ATLANTA (AP) — Pharmacists and veterinarians say record-breaking pollen is taking its toll on people and pets in metro Atlanta.

Atlanta pharmacist Ira Katz says that he's never seen such a run on allergy medication in his 30 years in the business. Katz says 60 to 70 percent of what's being sold at the pharmacy where he works is allergy-related.

A record high pollen count of 9,369 particles of pollen per cubic meter was measured in metro Atlanta on Tuesday. That shattered the old record of 6,013 from April 12, 1999.

By Wednesday morning, it had fallen to 5,174.

Dr. Stanley Fineman, an allergist at the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic, said the reason for the pollen count rise this week is because of the recent warm weather in Georgia along with the lack of rain.

"It's an ideal environment for trees to release more pollen when that happens," Fineman said. "Rain normally washes the pollen away, and (the pollen) will not fall."

The pollen is measured by the Atlanta Allergy & Asthma Clinic, which has kept record of the count since 1986. The clinic has five technicians who are certified to count pollen by the National Allergy Bureau, which is part of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Dr. Michael Good, a veterinarian, says that pets are also suffering, though their symptoms might be more difficult to recognize.