09 March 2005


Those pesky cockroaches are at it again. A recent study now blames them for worsening asthma symptoms in children. The study says that these pests are worse than your pet cats.

Think Cats Make Your Kid Sneeze?
Try Cockroaches
Tue Mar 8, 2005 05:50 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cockroaches worsen asthma symptoms in children far more than furry pets or dust mites, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.

High-rise apartments in Northeastern U.S. cities were the worst places for the allergic effects of cockroaches, the team at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas found. Single-family houses were the worst for dust mites -- miscroscopic creatures that live in bedding and furniture.

"We found that a majority of homes in Chicago, New York City and the Bronx had cockroach allergen levels high enough to trigger asthma symptoms, while a majority of homes in Dallas and Seattle had dust mite allergen levels above the asthma symptom threshold," said Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, who led the study.

"These data confirm that cockroach allergen is the primary contributor to childhood asthma in inner-city home environments," added Kenneth Olden, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which helped fund the study.

[Reuters Health]

More details about asthma here.

I've never liked cockroaches. They are one of those creepy creatures which won't be missed should their whole population be annihilated. The study confirms this. They worsen asthma symptoms in children far worse than cats or dust mites can.

In Manila and in the nearby provinces, the most frequent species of cockroaches are the American cockroach and some varieties of the German and Oriental species. Our asthma prevalence statistics are sketchy at best, but I found some data in the 1990s about Metro Manila's Asthma condition which might provide us a picture of the condition. I'm pretty sure that today that the figures have risen.

What makes cockroaches become dangerous triggers of asthma are its "saliva, fecal material, secretions and cast off skin," which can always be found in places where they are frequently seen.

Kill those cockroaches.

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