Warm February may lead to an early spring allergy season

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 6:01 PM CST
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QUINCY (WGEM) - Despite the recent chilly weather, February has been quite a warm month compared to average.

With each daily high temperature averaged out, this February will likely end up among the top 10 warmest on record for the Quincy region.

The warmer than average conditions are already having an impact farther South.

The National Phenology Network measures the advance of spring blossoms in a yearly “leaf out” index.

According to this index, the spring blossom is already two to three weeks ahead of schedule due to the warm weather across Southern Missouri and Illinois.

With the early spring blossom comes the risk of earlier spring allergies.

Dr. Adnan Khan, chief resident physician at SIU Family Medicine in Quincy, agrees and said everyone should keep an eye on how they’re feeling over the next few weeks.

If someone notice’s they are starting to see some possible allergy symptoms, Dr. Khan said it’s important to remember the differences between allergies and a regular cold.

“Runny noses, constantly clearing your throat, those kinds of things, those would be more like allergy symptoms,” Dr. Khan said, “and if they’re long lasting meaning that they’re not getting better and they can be there for a month or maybe even greater.”

Dr. Khan said cold symptoms usually feature rapid onset with a fever, chills, body aches and other symptoms.

He said anyone can develop allergies by moving to new locations or getting more environmental exposure.

When allergy symptoms begin, Dr. Khan recommends using some of the medications that are available over the counter for treatment.

“A lot of these things are now over the counter and you can get them. I personally like any of the brands that you can get. You don’t necessarily need to get name brand stuff, generic works just the same, you can compare the two,” Dr. Khan said.

He said people should pay attention to the instructions on the medications, as some require daily use to work best while others can be taken as necessary.

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