Warm Easter means rising pollen counts in France

France's air quality monitor Réseau National de Surveillance Aérologique warns birch pollen at high levels in parts of the country

Following a dry and warm March - that brought early pollen problems for allergy sufferers, the rainy start to April bought some early relief. But the Easter weekend looks set fair across large swathes of the country, notably in the north of the country.

The south will see more cloud over the long weekend, forecasters have said.

While pollen levels are not yet at high levels across most of France, the warmer weather has already seen counts rising, and allergy sufferers in the Ile de France, in the northeast and north of the country, where birch pollen is already being recorded at high levels, air quality monitor Réseau National de Surveillance Aérologique (RNSA) said.

Pollen alert levels across France

Birch pollens are among the most allergenic, along with cypress, plane tree, grass and ragweed, it warned.

Around the Mediterranean and in the Southwest, the risk level has been reset at medium for plane and oak pollens.

Poplar, willow and birch pollen levels of low to medium across the rest of the country.

The situation is unlikely to improve in the weeks to come, the association warned. Another cause of problems for those susceptible to pollen allergies will follow soon after the tree pollen spike, when grass pollen levels rise in the later spring and into summer.

Pollen allergies affect 20% of children aged nine and over, and 30% of adults in France, according to official figures.

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