Friday, November 11, 2011


Millions of people world over are affected by allergic disorders which in many cases can be fatal if not attended properly. In many cities which are highly polluted children are the victims and it is not unusual to see hospitals in these urban chaos full of children waiting for "Nebulization" for relief and other treatments. Allergies are caused by allergens of different nature entering the body generally through nose, food allergies through ingested foods, allergies caused by latex, insect bite, contact with skin and eye or  allergy or medication. The root cause is an over reaction by the body's immune system to some substances which are broadly called as allergens. 
In a startling report from the US, it was brought out that children with allergies and asthma are vulnerable to allergic reactions for which no protection is being provided in most schools. Considering that the number of affected children is very large running into millions, it is but proper for the US government to enforce a minimum protection regime in every school that can save precious lives. Here is a report on this issue.

"In the United States, asthma and allergies have a major and growing affect on schools.  About 10 percent of kids (7.1 million children) have asthma.  It is the #2 chronic disease among children (behind obesity) and the #1 chronic cause of student absenteeism (10.5 million school days missed annually due to asthma in 2008).  Last year, 185 children died because of asthma.  In addition, severe allergies and anaphylaxis – the most severe type of allergic reaction – are on the rise nationwide, particularly food allergies among children, forcing schools to prepare, manage and react to the problem.  Plus, millions of adult teachers and staff in schools have asthma and allergies, as well. With so many people affected in the school setting, these diseases create a burden on schools and communities, requiring improvements to indoor air quality (IAQ), emergency procedures and prevention training for food allergies, individual health plans for students, notifying parents of pesticide spraying, student access to medications such as epinephrine auto-injectors or albuterol inhalers, campus smoking bans and cessation programs, and more".

Pollution is the price one pays for the so called modern life style without which many families cannot live and it is the duty of the government to legislate properly to improve the environment as much as possible by cutting down pollution. As for food allergy the situation is  much better with allergen information declared on each and every food packet that reaches the consumer from the industry. One wonders what is the fate of many children in some of the poor and developing countries where allergy diagnosis itself is a problem with practically no facility for detection and treatment. Probably this is an area which may become a flash point in future in the health care field.


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