Global warming is the likely cause of a worse ragweed allergy season this year, reports the venerable American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. That's bad news for the 36 million Americans (roughly 1 in 7) who suffer from the common allergy, reports Boston's WCVB.
The station quoted Dr. Clifford W. Bassett of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York as warning, "Increasing temperature and increasing carbon dioxide, the result of global warming, increase the ragweed pollen production up to two to four times than its normal production the previous years. That means more people will suffer allergic reactions, which will also tend to be more severe and last longer.
Dr. Bassett told WCVB that he's seeing people come in with problems who have never known the allergy before, from young children to senior citizens.
Ragweed is the most notorious pollen producer, and is estimated to cause 75% of all pollen allergies.
Experts suggest that those who know they are susceptible to reactions to ragweed check daily pollen counts in order to plan ahead.
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