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Pollen season shorter but more intense this year: Health Ministry

ISLAMABAD – Because of the rainy spell earlier this year, the inhabitants of Islamabad are facing an intense pollen allergy season. Usually allergy patients suffer from the middle to the end of March, however this year the rains delayed the shedding of paper mulberry pollens, which intensified the problem. With the advent of spring in the federal capital, the number of pollen allergy patients visiting the city’s hospitals and clinics increased significantly.

Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) increased its efforts against the problem by setting up nebulisers to treat the patients.
According to a health ministry official, the pollen allergy patients might face a shorter, but slightly intense pollen season this year.

According to a PIMS official, 80 to 110 pollen allergy patients visited the hospital every day for nebulisation and oxygen. He said because of an intense pollen season this year the PIMS administration had deployed 10 extra staff members in the emergency department and had installed over 25 nebulisers at various places in the hospital to provide immediate treatment to the patients.

PIMS Spokesman Dr Waseem Khawaja advised the allergy patients to avoid spicy food. “Do not use perfumes, avoid gardens, wear face masks, use a wet cloth for dusting, avoid matting on the floor, do not open car windows, use vacuum cleaners instead of brooms, use sunglasses in the outdoors, use fresh water for eyes and nose and avoid hot water,” he added. Since early 1990s, pollen allergy has become one of the gravest health problems of the city as every year hundreds of people visit hospitals or clinics for treatment. According to an estimate by the Health Ministry, about 120,000 residents of the federal capital are suffering from the allergy this year.

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