Newswise — Chicago’s mold count today is 54,000 –well over the 50,000 threshold that signals a dangerous air quality warning. This is the third time a high mold alert has been declared in the 2011 allergy reporting season. “Headaches, sinus congestion, runny noses and fatigue will be common among Chicagoans,” says Dr. Joseph Leija, allergist, who performs the official allergy count at Loyola University Health System's Gottlieb Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Leija is solely certified by the National Allergy Bureau and has performed the daily official allergy count for the Midwest for more than two decades. “The rain, the warm, humid weather, the barometric pressure change, the humidity – all these elements combine to create the dangerously high mold count,” he said of his unusual morning count. “Allergy sufferers should stay indoors, keep the windows closed and use their air conditioners, and take their allergy medications.”

The Gottlieb Allergy Count is available to the public, in English, Polish and Spanish, through Twitter; at and at 1-866-4-POLLEN (476-5536) .