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ST. LOUIS – Historic rainfall with multiple flash flooding events from July 25 – July 28, coupled with extreme heat and humidity has caused mold levels to rise in the St. Louis region. 

Dr. Barbara Jost, a physician, and allergist said the recent weather has been the exact recipe for mold spore formation in the outdoor environment as well as the indoor environment. 

She said people with mold allergies are experiencing a lot of nasal congestion, sinus pressure, frontal headaches, and fullness in the ears. Some people experience trouble breathing, and mold is also a big trigger for those with asthma.  

Jost said calls have been going up and she said she expects the mold spore count to continue to increase a lot over the next few weeks due to the recent weather. 

One problem is that there’s some overlap between allergy flare-ups from mold and COVID-19 symptoms. People with mold allergy have a history of it and know that when mold counts are high they’re going to feel the impact. 

Jost said it’s important to get it checked out if you think you have a problem with mold because it can lead to a lot of other medical complications. 

“And right now, since we still have a lot of COVID-19 in the community, it takes a lot of questions to try to divide this out,” said Jost. “You know, could this be COVID-19, or is this a flare of their allergies due to asthma and mold. It can cause asthma to worsen, it can cause recurring sinus infections, and that can lead to a lot of antibiotic and steroid use which has other downstream effects. So, it’s important that if someone feels they are allergic or sensitive to mold that they see an allergist.” 

Jost said she recommends keeping the windows closed both in your house and in the car. Dehumidify your indoor environment. The best way to do that is by running the A/C, but as the weather cools down it might be important to run a dehumidifier.