Carol Forsloff — There are often layers of negative consequences resulting from huge storms like Hurricane Isaac, some of which may be long lasting and impact human health. Medical experts tell us that drastic climate change can cause a spectrum of allergy and asthma symptoms, some of which can be fatal.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology gives us the details on the increase of asthma and allergies following big storms. The heavy moisture can increase levels of mold, for example.
“Hurricanes and other severe storms can create drastic climate changes,” said allergist Stanley Fineman, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “This erratic weather can influence the severity of allergy and asthma symptoms for the more than 40 million Americans that suffer from these conditions.”
Fineman goes on to tell us how serious some of these problems can be. “Although symptoms may not always be severe, allergies and asthma are serious and, in some cases, deadly. “The conditions, however, can be effectively controlled with proper diagnosis and treatment by a board certified allergist.”
What can allergy and asthma suffers do? ACAAI allergists recommend a number of things that will help to predict when symptoms may occur, specifically related to changes in climate. These include:
• Heavy rainfall –Pollen and mold counts increase, and attract West Nile carrying mosquitos
• Cool nights and warm days – Tree, grass and ragweed pollens thrive in this environment
• Heat and humidity – Mold spores can multiply
• Wind – Pollen and mold can be stirred into the air, and when it’s warm, pollen counts surge
• Calm days – Absent winds cause allergens to be grounded, but they can be stirred into the air when mowing the lawn or raking leaves
ACAAI further reminds us about cleaning up standing water following flooding conditions and also cleaning up mold before it is allowed to spread. www.AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.
Climate change is with us, and extreme changes in weather can cause many problems. Last year reports came from all over the world about the increase in allergies. Prolonged heat and moisture and the changing of seasons require people to take precautions, especially following a catastrophe such as Hurricane Isaac. Potential threats from West Nile virus are also an issue, according to experts. The Gulf Coast has already seen victims from the virus, and health experts are concerned that the number of victims may increase as a result of the storm.