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Derecho could be to blame for more severe allergies

Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 10:15 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Nearly three months since the August derecho, cleanup continues and the storm may have brought with it more than damage. An area physician says the debris is likely contributing to allergies this year.

“That mold grows in that debris and then on a windy day or even on a not so windy day those mold spores can fly hundreds of miles,” Dr. Melanie Giesler, an ENT with Physician’s Clinic of Iowa, said.

Giesler said allergies can be so severe for some people, they get short of breath or have other symptoms. Some of those could be easily confused with COVID-19.

“100% this is the confusing thing. You know if this headache that you’ve had all weekend because you were outside on Friday and it was a little bit windy and you’ve had a little mold or are you worried that you’ve been exposed to covid and that’s a classic symptom also. It’s confusing and scary to people,” Giesler said.

Typically if a person is just sneezing and itchy, those are predominantly allergy symptoms according to Giesler. However, the only true way to know is through testing. That’s why she says if you’re feeling symptoms and unsure it’s best to stay home just to be on the safe side.

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