10:59pm Monday 14 October 2019

Chicagoans warned of dangerously high mold count

“Heavy chest and difficulty breathing, runny noses and fatigue will be common among Chicagoans with sensitive respiratory systems,” said Dr. Joseph Leija, an allergist at Loyola Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, Ill.

Dr. Leija is solely certified by the National Allergy Bureau to perform the daily official allergy count for the Midwest.

“The recent gusty winds, the downpours of rain, the recent hot 90-degree weather, the barometric pressure changes and the boost in humidity contributed to the dangerously high mold count we are suffering this September in Chicago,” he said of the unusual morning count that took him three and a half hours to complete – 45 minutes longer than usual due to the plethora of mold spores.

“Asthma sufferers should stay indoors and rest as much as possible, take their allergy medications and consult their allergist if symptoms worsen,” he advised.

Dr. Leija warns that the allergy count is for the outside air alone.

“Many patients suffered flooding and, despite attempts to remove all damaged materials, are battling indoor mold that is aggravating their health,” he said.

Dr. Leija is available today from noon to 5 p.m. today at Loyola Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.

Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, Loyola University Health System is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and 28 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 561-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-bed community hospital, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness and the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Care Center.

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