Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Hayfever alert across all of Belgium

08:49 06/06/2024

Belgium’s Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) has issued an alert for hayfever across the country for this week.

Levels range from high to very high in places, exacerbated by dry weather over the next few days that will make allergy flare-ups more common.

“Most people allergic to pollen are likely to develop symptoms and it is strongly recommended that they avoid all outdoor activities,” the RMI states on its website. Medical professionals also recommend closing windows at home if you are sensitive to pollen.

High concentrations of grass pollen (including reeds, bamboo and almost all grains) were also reported by health institute Sciensano, reaching a threshold of more than 50 grains per cubic metre of air.

Monday even saw levels as high as 80 grains per cubic metre of air in some places.

“We are now entering the high grass season,” Nicolas Bruffaerts, scientific collaborator and pollen expert at Siensano, told RTBF.

Sciensano reports that an estimated one person in six is allergic to grass pollen, considered to be the most allergenic pollen in the country.

Such pollens are released at more or less regular periods from one year to the next, but Bruffaerts added: “There can be variations of one or two weeks depending on weather conditions. With climate change and rising temperatures, we are seeing a shift in this season [...] to earlier and earlier.”

A mobile app called AirAllergy from Sciensano and the RMI allows users to track the pollen situation.

Written by Helen Lyons