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Published: Friday, 9/19/2008

Ike's winds stir up sniffles


CINCINNATI Allergists say the windstorm that knocked out power and took down trees in the Ohio Valley this week also stirred up pollen and mold, leaving more people sniffling and sneezing.

Sawdust from chopped trees, smoke from burning brush and other particles released into the air during clean-up efforts also have made breathing more difficult. Residents who opened their windows for ventilation increased their exposure to the allergens.

In southwest Ohio, Hamilton County officials found unusually high mold levels in the air after remnants of Hurricane Ike hit the area Sunday. They say pollen counts are closer to normal.

Jeffrey Raub, an allergist in Anderson Township in suburban Cincinnati, says his patients are reporting more breathing problems and a greater dependence on their medications.

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