Newswise — The Midwest is experiencing dangerous levels of mold in the air as the first dangerous air alert is called for the 2013 allergy reporting season. Gottlieb Allergy Count, the official allergy count for the Midwest, reports the mold count today is 53,000, a high for 2013, and well over the 50,000 threshold that signals a dangerous air quality warning. “The 90 degree heat, the humidity, and the noxious levels of mold combined with the high levels of weed and ragweed pollen spell health hazards for many in the Midwest today,” says Dr. Joseph Leija, allergist, who performs the Gottlieb Allergy Count, the only consistent allergy count for the Midwest. “Children are going back-to-school today and many may have their first sick day of the year due to breathing problems.”

The official Gottlieb Allergy Count for today is: Grass – Moderate, Mold – Very High – Air Alert Status, Weeds – High and Ragweed – High. “Today’s outdoor air may cause headaches, congestion, fatigue and runny noses to those with sensitive respiratory systems, “ says Dr. Leija, who has performed the Gottlieb Allergy Count for more than two decades. “Keep windows closed and run the air conditioner to improve air quality.”

Tips from Dr. Leija to to safeguard health include rinsing nasal passages with saline solution to remove trapped particles, washing your hair before sleeping at night and staying indoors in air conditioning.

Dr. Joseph Leija, allergist at Loyola’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, is solely certified by the National Allergy Bureau to perform the daily allergy count for the Midwest.

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