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Hay fever season starts early

16th January 2007

Experts have warned that hay fever sufferers could begin to feel symptoms within weeks as the pollen season starts early.

Climate change is thought to be responsible for the early start to the hay fever season, potentially causing increased misery to the three million sufferers in the UK. In a worst case scenario, researchers also warn that global warming could eventually mean year-round suffering for those allergic to pollen.

Researchers at the University of Worcester's National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit said they have already seen pollen in the air, months before the hay fever season usually starts. "There are low amounts of hazel, alder and yew tree pollen in the air, which are mildly allergenic," said Dr Matthew Smith, a researcher at the unit. "We would advise people to keep an eye on forecasts and there is definitely the possibility that the pollen season could start early this year."

The charity, Allergy UK, has confirmed that the pollen season is starting earlier each year as trees and flowers begin to bloom ahead of time. Similar problems are being reported across Europe.

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