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Hayfever woe as pollen levels soar in Brussels
It's a tough time to be a hayfever sufferer in Brussels - with birch pollen levels excessively high for the past 10 days and no improvement in sight this week.
Since 7 April, just three days after the birch pollen season started, the critical threshold in Brussels of 80 grains per m³ has been exceeded. Last weekend, levels peaked at 3000 per m³ - three times higher than last year's early-spring peak of 1,000.
Lucie Hoebeke, an associate at the Belgian public health research institute Sciensano, said: "Weather conditions are to blame, with dry weather and rising temperatures."
Her advice to anyone sneezing and rubbing their eyes at the moment: "Seek advice from your doctor, take the necessary treatments, avoid too much exercise, wear sunglasses, keep your car windows closed and wash your hair before going to bed."
Want to check if it's safe to leave the house tomorrow? This website provides a real-time update on pollen levels around Belgium.
Photo: Mislav Marohnić/Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons