ISLAMABAD-Women are more affected than men due to allergy caused by pollen buds of paper mulberry trees proliferated in the federal capital.

Dr Ishaq Khan, in a study to evaluate allergic threats imposed by paper mulberry, claimed to have found that 60 percent of the total patients in the age cohort of 30 to 70 years were affected due to pollen, majority of whom were women.   

Dr Ishaq Khan said that his study was aimed at analysing the health risks caused by the paper mulberry pollens to the residents of capital.

He said that the mean age of patients was 48.82 ± 10.14 with 60.7% female gender predominating the overall sample of allergy sensitive individuals.

As per systemic complications, rash was seen in 30 patients (21.4%), chest tightness in 35 patients (25%), difficulty in breathing/dyspnoea in 45 patients (32.1%), abdominal cramping in 13 patients (9.28%) and high grade fever in 17 patients (12.1%) patients,” he added.

As per musculoskeletal complications, fatigue was reported in 43 patients (30.7 percent), restlessness in 52 patients (37.2 percent) and muscular cramps in 45 patients (32.1percent) patients out of total sample of 140 patients. Positive skin test to mulberry extract was seen in 45 patients and negative skin test was seen in 95 patients. “It is concluded that paper mulberry serves to be a huge threat of allergic respiratory disorders in the residents of federal capital,” Dr Ishaq noted.

“Paper mulberry’s pollen season is usually from March to April, but it’s not uncommon for the pollen to start lingering around February. That’s why it’s important to start getting ready for the allergy season,” he underscored.  Now it can be seen in Islamabad with several torrential streams when soil is moist, paper mulberry seedlings can be easily pulled by hand, especially, he said.

To a question, he said the abundant amount of pollen that can come from one mulberry tree, combined with the windy, dry weather of Islamabad creates an allergy storm. “From the past few decades overall ratio of pollen induced respiratory allergies have been increased in the federal capital as it is being observed all over the world.

Unfortunately no effective steps have been taken by the authoritative bodies for eradication of this dangerous plant,” Dr Ishaq mentioned.