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First allergy symptoms due to ragweed pollen in Austria

(Vienna, 18-08-2015) Ragweed is ready to flower in Austria, the first plants are already releasing pollen. "Ragweed pollen can cause allergy symptoms even at low concentrations and low counts can already be expected in the affected areas of Austria," says Katharina Bastl of the Austrian Pollen Monitoring Service at MedUni Vienna. First allergy symptoms can occur at a pollen count as low as 3 – 5 grains of pollen per cubic metre.

Southeast Austria is particularly badly affected: allergy sufferers in Burgenland, Lower Austria, Vienna, Styria, Carinthia and also parts of Upper Austria need to start taking precautions against ragweed pollen. The extreme heat in July and August has inhibited the proliferation of ragweed plants, which are fewer and less extensive this year than in previous years. Hence, generally speaking, says Katharina Bastl, based on the local production of ragweed pollen, counts should be below average in the 2015 ragweed pollen season.

High pollen counts can come from far away

"Looking at Europe as a whole, the ragweed pollen season started earlier in Hungary and in France the plants also started to flower last week. Ragweed pollen can also be carried long distances on the wind and so reach Austria, causing problems for those who are allergic to weed pollens. Pollen counts can therefore be high, even if no pollen is produced locally," warns the expert. Pollen count maps for Europe and forecast charts for Austria can be found on the website of the Austrian Pollen Monitoring Service of MedUni Vienna: www.pollenwarndienst.at.

Pollen and Allergies – the first scientific guide from MedUni Vienna in collaboration with Manz publishing house
Since April this year, those who want to find out more about pollen and allergies have access to a new, readable, easy-to-understand and scientifically-based self-help book: "Pollen und Allergie – Pollenallergie erkennen und lindern" (Pollen and Allergies – Identifying and Alleviating Pollen Allergies", written by Uwe E. Berger and Katharina Bastl of the Austrian Pollen Monitoring Service at MedUni Vienna.

In mid April 2015 the first factual book in the new series "Gesundheit.Wissen" (Health.Sciences) was jointly published by MedUni Vienna and Manz-Verlag publishers and is available in bookshops or can be ordered carriage-free from the Manz-Verlag website (www.manz.at). For example, the book makes it easy to find out what is flowering, when and in what form, to help to identify the potential cause of symptoms.

» To find out more about the book to order online

Five research clusters at MedUni Vienna
In total, five research clusters have been established at MedUni Vienna. In these clusters, MedUni Vienna is increasingly focusing on fundamental and clinical research. The research clusters include medical imaging, cancer research/oncology, cardiovascular medicine, medical neurosciences and immunology. The Austrian Pollen Monitoring Service and its research work at MedUni Vienna fall within the remit of the immunology cluster.