A damp and warm June has increased the mold "Alternaria" in recent days. Alternaria is an allergy causing fungus that impacts many in Central Texas.
"Many mold species, including alternaria, are higher in June, July and August in the U.S.," said Dr. William Howland of Allergy and Asthma Center of Austin.
KVUE is the only TV station in the city that conducts their own allergy counts, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Counts of Alternaria at the north Austin studios have been up, even for summer standards.
"Some molds ... sporulate more on dry days when the spores can blow around to a favorable location, kind of like plants and pollen," said Dr. Howland.
Alternaira is easy to spot under the microscope, as it is elongated and worm-like.
Along with Alternaria, we have also spotted grass pollen -- also thanks to recent rainfall. The allergy forecast has grass pollen decreasing as we dry out later this week, but we expect elevated mold levels to stick around through the summer.
"Here in Central Texas, we almost never get a (hard) freeze, so levels are significant year round," said Dr. Howland.