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High pollen count warning

Allergy sufferers in Var and Alpes-Maritimes should take precautions

Allergy sufferers are being warned of a very high pollen count this weekend, with highest levels around the Mediterranean coast.

The National Aerobiological Surveillance Network (RNSA) said: "The risk of allergy will be high throughout the weekend in the city of Nice, with most risk linked to cypress pollen.”

On a scale from 0 to 5, it was 5 in the Var and Alpes-Maritimes yesterday for the cupressaceae family that includes cypresses, junipers and thujas (Canadian cedar).

Cypress pollen is so abundant in the region it represents one third of the all annual pollen in the air, the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) added.

"Conjunctivitis and rhinitis are back for allergic people, who must follow their treatment or consult their doctor," says the RNSA, which analyses the content of biological particles in the air and provides information about their health impact.

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To protect themselves, allergy sufferers should consult the bulletins like this http://www.pollens.fr/en/bulletins/pollinic-bulletin.php issued daily on pollens.fr.

Conifer hedges should be pruned to cut back on the pollen-producing male cones to help reduce exposure, as researchers in Montpellier noted a 30% reduction of cones on an urban hedge after pruning it back during tests.

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