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ISLAMABAD: With the onset of spring, the Met Office has issued a warning for Islamabad residents regarding the rise in pollen count in the coming days.

The Met Office’s Pollen Monitoring Unit has installed pollen monitoring devices in the city, including H-8, E-8, F-10 and G-6, to regularly observe the pollen count and inform the residents through its website.

Due to the concentration of flora and fauna in the capital, the pollen concentration increases gradually at the start of spring and hits its peak around the middle of March.

The most abundant pollen types in Islamabad are from eight species of vegetation, but the leading among them is paper mulberry. The others include acacia, eucalyptus, pines, grass, cannabis, dandelion and alternaria.

However, paper mulberry emits around 97pc of the total pollen count in the city, and its concentration touches the limits of around 40,000 per cubic metre of air at the peak of the blossom season.

People suffering from asthma or respiratory diseases can experience serious consequences from the increase in the pollen concentration.

Separately, clouds from the west accompanied by cool winds are expected to arrive in the Potohar region by Monday. Another cloud system is expected in the middle of next week, which is likely to bring light rainfall to the region, including the twin cities and Murree.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2017