Asthma,Mouse,Allergen,Symptom,Allergy,Integrated pest management,Research

Mice may be key to kids' asthma attacks at school

December 2, 2016
in Kids

FRIDAY, Dec. 2, 2016 -- Research investigating schoolchildren's asthma attacks has pointed to a tiny foe: mice. Allergens from the rodents can infiltrate the air, the study found, and may be a major cause of asthma attacks in the school environment. It's known that many different allergy triggers -- from dust mites to mold to pet dander -- can fuel children's asthma symptoms. But most research has focused on the triggers in kids' homes. "In this study, we've identified the school as an important factor, too," said researcher Dr. Wanda Phipatanakul, an allergy specialist at Boston Children's Hospital. That said, she stressed, the findings do not actually prove that schools' rodent problems were the cause of kids' symptoms. The next step, Phipatanakul said, is a study where schools will get air purifiers and "integrated pest management," to see if that improves students' respiratory health. Integrated pest management focuses on long-term tactics -- such as sealing up building cracks, and removing clutter, standing water and other conditions that attract pests. In the United States, more than 6 million children have asthma, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including about 17 percent of black children. The new study, published online recently in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, appears to be the first in the United...

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