THE REAL POLLEN COUNT: Low forecast in most provinces

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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 23 July:

Cape Town (Western Cape)

Grass, tree and weed pollen counts were low during this sampling period. Tree pollen included gum (Myrtaceae), karee (Rhus sp. / Searsia sp.), cypress (Cupressaceae), the pine family (Cedrus sp. and Pinus sp.), Australian pine (Casuarina sp.) and oak (Quercus sp.).

The weed pollen detected were plantain (Plantago sp.), sedges (Cyperaceae), goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae), ferns (Polypodiaceae), the carnation family (Caryophyllaceae), nettles (Urticaceae) and knotweeds (Polygonaceae).

Count: 9 (moderate) 

Johannesburg  (Gauteng)

Grass, tree, weed and mould levels were low. The tree pollen detected included acacia (Acacia sp.), willow (Salix sp.), plane (Platanus sp.), pine (Pinus sp.), karee (Rhus sp. / Searsia sp.), elm (Ulmus sp.), poplar (Populus sp.) and cypress (Cupressaceae). Weed pollen found in this sampling period were from the carnation family (Caryophyllaceae), goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae), the daisy family (Asteraceae), spurges (Euphorbia sp.), mallows (Malvaceae), ferns (Polypodiaceae) and ericas (Ericaceae).

Count: 9 (moderate) 

Pretoria (Gauteng)

Grass, tree, weed and mould counts were all low. Tree pollen included karee (Rhus sp. / Searsia sp.) and cypress (Cupressaceae). The weed pollen detected were slangbos (Stoebe-type) and hop-bush (Dodonaea sp.).

Count: 1 (very low) 

Bloemfontein (Orange Free State)

Pollen and mould levels were very low. No grass or weed pollen was detected, and karee (Rhus sp. / Searsia sp.) was the only tree pollen present.

Count: 1 (very low) 

Kimberley (Northern Cape)

Counts for this week are not yet available, due to a delay in courier services. The data from last week are repeated. Grass levels were very low and no tree pollen was detected in the atmosphere. Extremely low weed concentrations were observed as only goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae) was detected. Moulds were very low.

Count: 1 (very low) 

Durban (KZN)

Grasses were low at this site. Low tree levels included pine (Pinaceae), and cypress (Cupressaceae). Weed levels were low and the types detected were knotweed (Polygonaceae), nettles (Urticaceae) and the daisy family (Asteraceae). Moulds were low, but small spikes for Cladosporium were noted. Many charcoal fragments were present in the air throughout this sampling week.

Count: 3 (low) 

Gqeberha (Eastern Cape)

Grass, tree, weed and mould counts were low. Tree pollen included the cashew or sumac family (Anacardiaceae), Australian pine (Casuarina sp.), cedar (Pinaceae) and cypress (Cupressaceae). The weed pollen present were katstert (Anthospermum sp.), the daisy family (Asteraceae), mugworts (Artemisia sp.), sedges (Cyperaceae), proteas (Proteaceae) and ericas (Ericaceae).

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.

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