The spring of this year will be very intense in terms of pollen concentration in Madrid or Toledo, since the first one will register up to 7,000 grains per cubic meter of air, as a consequence of the passage of the storm Filomena, which left large amounts of snow that caused the wild grasses to root more deeply, which favored their development and an increase in the amount of pollen.
This was stated this Thursday at a press conference by the president of the Aerobiology Committee of the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (Seaic), Angel Moral, who added that, as a result of their fall or the breaking of their branches, the olive trees or Damaged shade trees will give less pollen this spring due to the reduction in the capacity to produce it and that the cold has somehow stopped the pollination of the plants, factors that, in their opinion, will significantly influence in the pollen forecasts.
In this sense, he recalled that grass pollens are highly influenced by the rains that occur during autumn and winter and aspects such as humidity and temperature, and stressed that spring is considered very mild when it gives an accumulation of fewer than 1,000 grains per cubic meter of grasses mild when there are between 1,000 and 3,000; “moderate”, when there are between 3,000 and 5,000, and “intense” above 5,000.
SPRING VERY VARIABLE
About the central zone, spring will be very variable, since in Aragon they will not exceed 3,000 grains in Castilla y Leon they will be between 3,000 and 4,000 a very intense spring is expected in Madrid, with figures of about 6,000 grains and in Castilla-La Mancha, the figures will also be very variable since in Cuenca, Guadalajara, and Albacete it will be mild, in Ciudad Real, it will be moderate and in Toledo intense is expected.
About the Cantabrian coast, it will be a spring between mild and moderate since, in the case of Galicia it will be mild with Coruña with 1,000 grains per cubic meter of air, the same as in Santander or La Rioja, also in Bilbao or San Sebastian, and moderate in Vitoria, as well as in Pamplona and Oviedo.
Spring on the Mediterranean coast will be “mild” since the figures will range between 1,000 grains in Cartagena and 2,400 in Lleida, while “practically the rest of the cities”, including Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia or Murcia will have values between 1,000 and 1,500.
In the southern zone, spring will also be highly variable, with values ranging between 1,000 grains in Almería and 10,000 that will be produced in Cáceres or Badajoz, provinces that in recent years have been registering the most intense springs for grass pollens in Spain. About Andalusia, in Huelva it will be a “mild” spring, with 2,400; in Córdoba and Jaén it will be a “moderate” spring, with about 4,000; and in Seville, it will be “intense”, with about 7,000 grains.
In the Canary Islands, the forecasts are for a “very mild” spring, since “practically”, according to the expert, both Tenerife and Las Palmas will not exceed 300 grains of grasses
Moral recalled that pollen allergy diseases “are very frequent” and estimated the number of people who suffer them at more than eight million, a figure that is increasing and that “probably” linked to climate change and pollution while urging to “eradicate” the concept of “allergy due to spring pollen”, which usually occurs due to allergy to plane trees, grasses, olive or birch since these can appear “practically throughout the year”.
Regarding the impact that the use of masks to contain the spread of the coronavirus may have on the incidence of allergy this year, he stressed that until now they had been “underused” although allergists have been recommending “for many years. ” Its use for pollen patients when they are outdoors.
Moral recalled that the pollens that cause allergic problems measure between 15 and 30 microns and the coronavirus virus is “about a hundred times smaller”, so, he said, “all the masks we use are going to protect patients”, in addition to reducing the symptoms of patients and causing them to consume less medication and visit the emergency services less.
In fact, many acknowledge that they have been better thanks to the masks and many patients have complained, above all, of eye problems, probably because the mask only covered the nose and mouth and the eyes were not protected, He added while urging allergy sufferers to wear glasses and avoid going outside on windy days, and stated that being allergic or asthmatic does not in any way produce any predisposition to suffer a Covid infection.
For his part, the president of the Seaic, Antonio Valero, specified that allergic respiratory disease is highly frequent and has a prevalence of between 20 and 25% of the population, for which he warned that one of each four people will suffer from some type of respiratory allergy throughout their lives and practically half of this percentage will be due to allergy to pollens.
The specialists advanced that updates have been made in applications that receive data through the organization’s website on the concentration of pollen such as Pollen Control or Pollen Alert and announced that this Thursday an artificial intelligence model has come into operation that allows each one of the associated aerobiology stations will predict the pollen values that will be in each of the geographical areas where they are located three days in advance.