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Austin is ringing in the new year with a near-record high cedar pollen count Monday, clocking in at a whopping 31,587 pollen grains per cubic meter of air and topping the record for this season.


This is the second-highest pollen count Austin has seen since the city started keeping daily records 25 years ago. This year in particular, Austin has been seeing cedar pollen counts in the highs—allergy sufferers survived 29,745 grains per cubic meter on Dec. 30.

The highest recorded pollen count was 32,000 grains per cubic meter, which hit in the mid-1990s, which is just over 400 above the current count.

Cedar pollen typically spreads best in dry and windy weather, worst in rainfall, so last weekend's weather created the perfect climate for a surge of sneezes.

Cedar fever is about reaching its peak season this month. Cedar fever is the named coined for the seasonal allergy caused when people inhale the pollen from mountain cedars, drought-resistant evergreen trees common in Central Texas.

Come February and early March, Austin can expect a decline in pollen counts. On an average day, cedar counts range from 100-500 grains per cubic meter of air.

Austinites have been feeling the sting of cedar fever this year especially.


In a time where COVID-19 is dominating, it can be nerve-wrecking to come down with symptoms, especially since the two sicknesses mirror each other in their effect. However, there are ways to distinguish between the two.


(Laura Figi)

If you're feeling under the weather due to cedar fever, the best ways to combat the allergies are to stay indoors, use over-the-counter allergy pills or drops, eat local honey daily, use a neti pot or for serious allergies, a HEPA home filter.

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