People often associate high asthma rates in the inner cities with the prevalence of cockroaches in those dwellings. But a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology indicates that mice may be more of a factor than previously thought.
The study aimed to identify relevant allergens in Baltimore. More than 140 children (5-17 years old) with asthma underwent skin prick tests at baseline and had clinical data collected at baseline and 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Home settled dust samples were collected at the same time points for quantification of indoor allergens. Participants were grouped based on their sensitization and exposure status to each allergen.
About 40 percent of each group was exposed to either cockroach allergens or mouse allergens. But the group with high mouse exposure “was associated with acute care visits, decreased FEV1/forced vital capacity percentage values, fraction of exhaled nitric oxide levels, and bronchodilator reversibility,” the researchers found.
Tiny droplets containing the flu virus — in numbers high enough to infect you — are more prevalent in the air of public places than you might think, a new study suggests.
Half of the air samples in the study, which were taken from high-traffic areas like day care centers and airplanes, yielded concentrations of flu virus high enough to infect someone with the flu, said study researcher Linsey Marr, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
And flu-laden particles can stay in the air long after an infected person has left the vicinity, meaning it’s possible to be infected just by breathing in the infected air for an hour, she said.
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