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Recent weather patterns produce pollen, mosquitoes

Allergy sufferers and mosquito haters, be prepared. The recent rain and cooler temps only bring a brief reprieve from pesky bites and itchy, watery eyes.

When Mississippi has a mild, wet winter, those who deal with bothersome allergies know the drill–stock up on antihistamines early and often.

“When we have a mild winter with lots of rain,” said Mississippi Asthma and Allergy physician Dr. Daniel Vanarske. “Those trees and their pollen are primed.”

Heavy rain showers haven’t done much to bring down the pollen counts. While your black car may finally be free of that familiar yellow sheen of springtime, and the flow toward the storm drain has a yellow, dusty hue, it is only a matter of time before the Southern Dust returns.

“Pollen counts often soar after rain storms,” said Vanarske. “That’s why allergy sufferers only see temporary relief.”

Pollen isn’t the only pest that comes with the April showers. Especially with the onslaught of flooding, mosquitoes are expected to rise in droves.

“We do see more mosquito bite reactions with the warmer weather,” said Vanarske. “And we see more as the summer comes.”

The Mississippi Department of Health has linked the increase of disease-carrying mosquitoes during and after flooding events, and into the summer. If cleaning up a flooded area, try to eliminate standing water as soon as possible, and be sure to apply a mosquito repellant containing DEET before heading outside.

“If you have any bothersome allergic reactions, and over the counter medications aren’t helping,” said Vanarske. “It may be time to see your doctor.”

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