People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

The mysterious “Katrina cough”

Posted by schroeder915 on November 18, 2005

New Orleanians know exactly what that means. It’s a stuffy or runny nose, sore, dry, scratchy throat, and if you have any asthma at all, wheezing and shortness of breath.

the_velvet_rut
has an explanation:

The National Allergy Bureau of the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology considers any outdoor mold spore level of greater than 50,000 spores per cubic meter to be “very high.” The spore counts outdoors in most flooded neighborhoods tested by NRDC — including New Orleans East, the Lower 9th Ward, Chalmette, Uptown, Mid-City and the Garden District — topped out at 77,000 spores per cubic meter at one site in Chalmette, and 81,000 spores per cubic meter at another site in Uptown.The indoor site in Uptown had a spore count of 645,000 spores per cubic meter, and the indoor site in Lakeview had 638,000 spores per cubic meter. By comparison, the bureau considers outdoor mold counts of 1 to 6,499 “low,” 6,500 to 12,999 “moderate,” and 13,000 to 49,999 “high.”

And in my neighborhood where people continue to gut their homes of moldy sheetrock (which breaks down into a fine dust and is dispersed throughout the air when thrown out on the street and kicked up by speeding cars – aargh):

The indoor site in Uptown had a spore count of 645,000 spores per cubic meter, and the indoor site in Lakeview had 638,000 spores per cubic meter. By comparison, the bureau considers outdoor mold counts of 1 to 6,499 “low,” 6,500 to 12,999 “moderate,” and 13,000 to 49,999 “high.”

Among the plethora of commercial signs that now crowd neutral grounds announcing businesses that are open post-Katrina, this is my favorite – one has to strike while the iron is hot:

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