What is pollen?
- Pollen is a fine powder that is produced by some trees, flowers, grasses, and other plants.
Why is pollen important?
- In order for plants to reproduce, they need to be pollinated. Without the pollination process, plants would be unable to produce seeds and create new plants. Tomatoes, beans, apples, peaches, and many more plants need pollination to grow and reproduce. These are important plants for humans too!
How does pollination happen?
- Pollination is the process that moves pollen from the part of the plant that produces pollen to the part of the plant that can receive the pollen. Pollination works best if the pollen travels away from the plant that produced it and pollinates a different plant of the same species. Sometimes pollen travels because of the wind, and sometimes insects or other animals move the pollen from plant to plant.
How is pollen harmful? What is the connection to COVID-19?
- Some people are sensitive to pollen and have pollen allergies. An allergic reaction occurs when the immune system (which usually defends us from viruses and bacteria) sees the pollen as a threat. Reactions can range from mild to severe symptoms depending on the person and pollen level. Pollen can also trigger reactions in those who have asthma. People with asthma are at risk to have a severe reaction to COVID-19 since COVID-19 affects the respiratory tract.
Why is it important to know the pollen count?
- People who suffer from pollen allergies use pollen count information to decide when it is better to stay indoors. Research scientists and allergists can also use pollen count information to better understand trends in pollen production and conditions.
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