Warning of potential ‘deadly pollen bomb’ with warm weather due over Easter
Sonia Munde, from Asthma UK, warned that the rising temperatures might increase the risk of a ‘potentially life-threatening asthma attack’.
A so-called “deadly pollen bomb” could strike over the Easter weekend with temperatures forecast to rise as high as 25C (77F).
The Met Office is predicting a predominantly fine, dry and settled bank holiday weekend for much of the UK, with the mercury hitting the high teens and low 20s on Saturday and Sunday in southern England.
But the warmer conditions could be bad news for hay fever and asthma sufferers, with the national weather service forecasting a high chance of pollen, stretching from the South West of England up as far as central Tayside and Fife in Scotland on Saturday.
The anticipated heatwave has prompted concerns about a “pollen bomb” over the Easter weekend.
A deadly pollen bomb is due to hit this week, putting people with asthma at risk of a potentially life-threatening asthma attack Sonia Munde, Asthma UK
Sonia Munde, head of services for Asthma UK, said: “A deadly pollen bomb is due to hit this week, putting people with asthma at risk of a potentially life-threatening asthma attack.
“Around 3.3 million people with asthma are affected by pollen, which can cause symptoms such as wheezing, a tight chest or coughing.
“Trees have been releasing their pollen for several weeks, but the warm spring weather is going to make these pollen levels spike.”
The Met Office is predicting that the tree pollen risk will be high in many places during the sunny weather, with birch, ash and willow pollen due to be airborne over the weekend.
Discussing the ways that asthma sufferers can protect themselves, Ms Munde added: “If you’re already getting symptoms, it’s not too late to help yourself stay well.
“Take your prescribed preventer medicine to soothe your irritated airways so you’re less likely to react to the pollen trigger.
“Take hay fever medicines such as antihistamines as they stop the allergic reaction that triggers asthma symptoms and keep itchy eyes and runny noses at bay.
“Everyone with asthma should keep their blue reliever inhaler with them at all times in case of an emergency.”
Meanwhile, Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said an earlier spring might have led to plants flowering sooner, potentially increasing the risk of pollen.
Outlining how hard it can be to predict pollen levels, she said: “I think, with the weather condition and the warmer conditions we had earlier in the year, there’s a higher chance for plants to develop and pollen to potentially arise.”
Ms Maxey added that a potential turn in the weather at the beginning of next week could lead to a reduction in pollen levels.
Discussing the weather more broadly, she said the sort of high temperatures the UK is due to experience over Easter are not unusual for this time of year, with a high of 29.1C (84.4F) being recorded in parts of London on April 19 last year.
Although temperatures might rise to 25C (77F) in isolated spots over the weekend, it is unlikely to be the warmest Easter on record.
That was in 2011, when a high of 27.8C (82F) was recorded in Wisley, Surrey, on April 23, which was Easter Saturday that year, with the same temperature also being recorded in Heathrow on Easter 1949.