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April will be ‘miserable’ for Houston allergy sufferers. Blame the ice storm.



PLANO, TX – Last month’s ice storm is likely to make the coming weeks particularly unpleasant for Texans with seasonal allergies.

“It’s going to be the most beautiful time of the year as always,” said Porfirio Villarreal, spokesperson for the Houston Health Department. “But it’s going to be miserable if you’re an allergy sufferer, especially in the morning.”

The Houston region typically begins to experience higher tree pollen counts around early March, he said.

Much of that was likely delayed by last month’s ice storm, which killed trees and vegetation statewide.

That means April could bring a combination of heavy tree pollen in addition to grass pollen that spikes this time each year, causing sore throats and headaches for those with allergies.

Recent, daily tree pollen counts in the region have consistently been rated as “heavy,” according to Houston Health’s website.

Last year, the area also saw inordinately high pollen counts, at one point recording the highest pollen counts of any place in the nation, the Chronicle reported at the time.

Villarreal said allergy sufferers may feel the worst in the early morning, and advised people to avoid being outside during that time.

He also noted some similarities in allergy and COVID-19 symptoms, including a sore throat. He recommended that people get tested if their symptoms include a fever, chills or body aches.