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High pollen levels mar Swedish spring

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Birch trees in bloom. Photo: TT
09:39 CEST+02:00
After a sunny long weekend, birch pollen is set to blight allergy sufferers' return to work on Tuesday, as pollen levels reached above 1,000 particles per cubic metre.

Spring weather hit Sweden over the Easter weekend, with Stockholmers in particular enjoying a good dose of sunshine. But with the sun came the pollen.

While all of southern Sweden saw elevated birch pollen levels, the worst hit is neighbouring Denmark, where pollen per cubic metre rates climbed to 4,696 - an all time record.

In the capital, the birch pollen levels had hit level six of seven on the hay fever radar of Pollenrapporten.se.

"It's not a record, but there were very high levels on Monday," Natural History Museum biologist and PollenRapporten.se rapporteur Agneta Ekebom told the TT news agency. 

While the birch trees are blossoming in southern and central Sweden, the site warned that warm winds could carry the pollen further north.

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"If you're in Norrland you could get a slice of the south's blossoming as southern winds can transport birch pollen quite far in over Norrland," the site wrote ahead of the Easter weekend, when it warned that birch pollen season would kick off about a week earlier than normal. 

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