Severe 'pollen burst' caused by a long, cold winter and very late spring pushes pollen levels to highest in 50 years, as NHS warns hay fever sufferers to stay indoors
Last time pollen peaked so early was in the early1960s
The UK is on alert for a severe hay fever outbreak, as a late spring pushes pollen levels to their highest in 50 years.
A long, cold winter followed by a warm spike immediately before summer means the likelihood of grass pollen meeting tree pollen is now considered to be high.
As a result the NHS is suggesting the UK’s 16 million hay fever sufferers take action to minimise their suffering, including wearing wraparound sunglasses, changing clothing and showering after being outdoors and not leaving the house while pollen counts are high.
The pollen count reportedly jumped from zero to high over the weekend, with the levels likely to continue to rise until June.
Pollen levels usually peak late in the summer, but experts believe they will spike much earlier this year, with the number of those showing symptoms rocketing over the coming weeks.
Professor Roy Kennedy, one of Britain’s leading hay fever experts, said England is likely to suffer the worst of the “pollen burst” but even Scotland will experience high pollen levels.
The director of the National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit said: “The cold spring meant a late start for pollen, with a pollen burst now in a condensed period – and the phenomenon of several pollens likely to peak at the same time.”
He added: “It means peak pollen levels early in the season – not later, as normal. The last year to see similar early-season pollen peaks is probably back in the 1960s – following a cold early spring such as March 1962 – or even earlier… Scotland will also see a condensed tree pollen season. Hay fever sufferers could be badly affected and need to be aware of this.”
Professor Kennedy went on to say: “The last year to see similarly early-season pollen peaks is probably in the 1960s following a cold spring such as March 1962.”
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a rare opportunity for ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced Fee Earner/Techn...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This law firm is seeking a happy, helpful and ...
£26000 - £29000 per annum + Holidays & Pension: The Jenrick Group: Production ...