Hay fever rates smash five-year average across England, latest RGCP data shows

Publication date: 16 June 2018

Hay fever cases in England have reached their highest level so far this year, according to the latest weekly figures from the Royal College of General Practitioners' Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC).

The RSC revealed there were 45,355 cases of hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, presented to GP practices between 4 June-10 June 2018 (76.7 presentations per 100,000 population); up from 19.8/100,000 the previous week (11,708 cases).

This is significantly above the five-year average for cases in general practice.

Responding to the figures, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Hay fever rates are exceptionally high right now – certainly the worst we’ve seen in recent years with the latest data from our Research and Surveillance Centre showing that it is significantly above the five-year average for cases in general practice.

"In fact, more than 45,000 people visited their GP with hay fever symptoms last week in England.

"For the estimated one in five people who suffer from hay fever, the symptoms, which include sneezing, coughing, and streaming eyes and nose, can be really distressing but the discomfort of symptoms should only be temporary and cause no long-term ill effects.

"Patients suffering from hay fever can take some simple practical steps to reduce their exposure to pollen, for example by wearing a hat with a wide brim, putting a small amount of Vaseline on their nostrils to trap pollen particles, and keeping windows and doors shut as much as possible.

"Most cases of hay fever can be treated with over-the-counter medicine, such as antihistamines or nasal sprays."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659
press@rcgp.org.uk

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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