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Atchoo! Jackson Tops for Allergies

Pass the Kleenex. Jackson ranks at the top of the list for spring allergies, reported the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America yesterday, up from No. 4 last year.

The rankings took four factors into consideration: Pollen scores, amount of allergy meds per patient and numbers of board-certified allergy specialists. Jackson ranks high on the first two scores and low on the third, putting the city in the rankings top spot with a perfect score of 100.

Tree pollens are the worst allergy culprits in the spring, as evidenced by that sticky film of green on cars and outdoor furniture. The AAFA cites high counts of red cedar, hackleberry, elm, willow and poplar pollens in its report.

"Overall, 15 of the top 25 cities on this year's ranking are in the South, continuing a trend that AAFA has seen over the years," the AAFA website states. Mike Tringale, AAFA's vice president of external affairs, says the No. 1 spot is "almost always a southern city."

Rounding out the top 10 spots in the 100-city list are three cities in Tennessee (Knoxville, 2; Chattanooga, 3; Memphis, 8); McAllen, Texas, 4; Louisville, Ky, 5; Wichita, Kan., 6; Dayton, Ohio, 7; Oklahoma City, Okla., 9; and Baton Rouge, La., 10.

Visit the AAFA website for more information.

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