It’s no surprise that Georgia has some of the highest pollen counts in the country, but it is a surprise to see that exposure to seasonal pollen can weaken your immune system. A new study published in Allergy demonstrated that pollen could suppress innate antiviral immune response in the body, independent of pollen allergy. Additionally, it also elevates the risk of viral infections in people with no sensitivity to pollen as well.
This is best summarized in the abstract of the paper: “The ability of pollen to suppress innate antiviral immunity, independent of allergy, suggests that high-risk population groups should avoid extensive outdoor activities when pollen and respiratory virus seasons coincide.”
Although the study mainly investigated Rhinovirus (common cold), we can certainly apply the same strategies for CoVid-19 during this time.
Mayo Clinic offers this advice to allergy sufferers:
- Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
- Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
- Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
- Don’t hang laundry outside—pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
- Wear a pollen mask if you do outside chores.