THE REAL POLLEN COUNT: Another week of high grass levels across certain parts of SA

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Amid the highest recorded pollen counts in history, Health24 will be bringing you exclusive pollen count updates courtesy of the UCT Lung Institute's Allergy and Immunology Unit.

Here are the major city updates for 25 March:

Cape Town (Western Cape)

Grass counts were low. Tree and weed pollen levels were also low. Tree pollen included cypress (Cupressaceae), eucalyptus (Myrtaceae), karee (Rhus) and elm (Ulmus). Weed pollen types detected were goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae), erica (Ericaceae), waxberry (Morella), English plantain (Plantago sp.), nettle (Urticaceae) and the daisy family (Asteraceae). Fungal spore counts were low.

Count: 18 (moderate)

Johannesburg  (Gauteng)

Grass counts were moderate. Tree and weed counts were low. The tree pollen types detected were birch (Betula sp.), mulberry (Moraceae), eucalyptus (Myrtaceae), pine (Pinus sp.), plane (Platanus sp.), oak (Quercus) and Australian pine (Casuarina).

Weed pollen present in this sampling period included goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae), carnations (Caryophyllaceae), spurges (Euphorbiaceae), English plantain (Plantago sp.), fern spores (Polypodiaceae) and the daisy family (Asteraceae). Mould counts were low.

Count: 11 (moderate) 

Pretoria (Gauteng)

Grasses were moderate. Low tree levels included pine (Pinaceae) and Australian pine or beefwood (Casuarina). Weeds levels were low and ragweed (Ambrosia spp), English Plantain (Plantaginaceae), goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae) and fern (Thelipteris) were detected. Moulds were low.

Count: 11 (moderate)

Bloemfontein (Orange Free State)

Grass levels were high. Tree and weed pollen counts were low. The tree pollen types detected were acacia (Acacia sp.), pine (Pinus sp.), olive (Oleaceae) and Australian pine (Casuarina sp.). Weed pollen types present in this sampling period were goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae) and the daisy family (Asteraceae). Fungal spore counts were low.

Count: 35 (high) 

Kimberley (Northern Cape)

Grass levels were high. Grass types identified included maize (Zea mays). Low tree levels were detected, and the types were eucalyptus (Myrtaceae), the pea family (Fabaceae), kareeboom (Rhus/Searsia) and waxberry (Morella).

Low weed types detected were the daisy family (Asteraceae), goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae) and nettle (Urticaceae). Moulds were low.

Count: 34 (high) 

Durban (KZN)

Low pollen levels were detected. Tree types included mulberry (Moraceae), Australian pine or beefwood (Casuarina), elm (Ulmaceae), Brazilian peppertree (Schinus spp) and eucalyptus (Myrtaceae).

Weeds detected were the daisy family (Asteraceae), ragweed (Ambrosia spp), goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae), protea (Proteaceae), knotweed (Persicaria) sorrel (Rumex)pelargonium (Geraniaceae) and ferns (Polypodiaceae). Moulds were high with spikes for ascospores and Cladosporium.

Count: 11 (moderate) 

Gqeberha (previously Port Elizabeth) (Eastern Cape)

Grasses were low. Low tree levels included Australian pine or beefwood (Casuarina), waxberry (Morella), eucalyptus (Myrtaceae) palms (Arecaceae)and the cashew and mango family Anacardiaceae. Weeds detected were the carnation family (Caryophyllaceae), sedges (Cyperaceae), the daisy family (Asteraceae) lilies (Liliaceae), Euphorbia, heather (Ericaceae) and slangbos (Stoebe) Moulds were low.

Count: 4 (low) 

See the full report HERE.

Reference ranges:

Overall, Trees, Grasses and Weeds all use the same values (grains per cubic metres of air)

Overall count is the daily average of pollen grains per cubic metres of air (trees plus grasses plus weeds).

In partnership with the the UCT Lung Institute's Allergy and Immunology Unit.

As the pollen problem worsens, precise and expanded monitoring becomes even more essential. 

And here's how you can help.

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