Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Ragweed pollen season returns to Nebraska; symptoms can mirror those of COVID-19
editor's pick alert

Ragweed pollen season returns to Nebraska; symptoms can mirror those of COVID-19

  • Updated
  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}

Close your windows and get out the nasal spray — ragweed season is here.

And this year, it comes in the middle of a pandemic. 

Dr. Linda Ford, a Bellevue allergist who tracks pollen counts, said ragweed pollen usually shows up in the first few days of August.

"Then it takes a few days to get up to a high enough pollen count to be clinically significant to those who are allergic to it, and it has made it to that count," said Ford, who operates the Asthma & Allergy Center in Bellevue.

Ragweed pollen counts usually reach their peak around Labor Day. Symptoms include sneezing; itchy eyes, nose, ears and throat; watery eyes; a runny nose; and congestion.

Maskless testifiers oppose health director's appointment, but council approves her anyway

People can take steps to minimize the misery brought on by the airborne irritant: Keep windows and doors closed, don't hang laundry outside to dry and shower after spending time outdoors. The masks people wear to help stop the spread of COVID-19 also help allergy sufferers, Ford said. 

"These masks help to filter out most of the pollen and the mold spores that we're inhaling because they are a larger particle than the virus," Ford said. 

Lancaster County coronavirus cases trending in the right direction

It can be difficult for people to tell the difference between the symptoms caused by the novel coronavirus and those caused by ragweed, Ford said. One possible indicator of COVID-19 is fever, which won't happen with ragweed allergies.

The most effective treatment for those allergic to ragweed pollen are steroid nasal sprays "because they get right to the source of the problem — inflammation in the nose," Ford said. Antihistamines and saline nasal sprays also are effective treatments.

Marcus to reopen Lincoln Grand Cinema, Cornhusker Marriott this week
LPS has some technology glitches on first day of remote learning, but lots of kids log on

Photos: What to plant if you want to attract pollinators

Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

  • Updated

Still recovering, Sarah Michael-Rush  doesn’t think people here take COVID-19 seriously enough.

“Most places in Kearney require a mask, but anywhere masks aren’t required, not a lot of people are wearing them,” she said. “Walmart requires them, but I was in there the other day and I counted five people walking around without them. I wanted to go up and say to them, ‘I’ve had this. You don’t want it.’”

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News

Husker News