public health

For about 40 million Americans, spring also means sneezing and congestion, a box of tissues, and a trip to the doctor. Unfortunately, for these hay fever sufferers, the suffering will likely get worse.

Researchers have found that changes in climate impose additional strains on those with pollen allergies.

So, what does this mean for public health?

“The influence of climate change on plant behavior exacerbates or adds an additional factor to the number of people suffering from allergy and asthma,” Lewis Ziska, Ph.D., a weed ecologist at the Agriculture Research Service division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said.

The intersection of climate change and health is something that epidemiologists are just beginning to analyze closely, he added.

Union of concerned scientists, A Changing Climate Worsens Allergy Symptoms