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Got the sniffles? Blame the dust mites at home

They're main cause of allergic asthma here: Study

Published on Feb 8, 2014 8:09 AM
 
Common dust mite. The main cause of allergic asthma in Singapore is the house dust mite, scientists in Singapore have found. -- FILE PHOTO: NUH/NUS

The main cause of allergic asthma in Singapore is the house dust mite, scientists in Singapore have found.

Invisible to the naked eye, it feeds on flakes of human skin and is found in pillows, mattresses and carpets.

A study of about 8,000 people here showed about 80 per cent of them reacted to the mites, and 15 per cent had asthma symptoms.

Nearly 40 per cent had allergic rhinitis symptoms - when the nose is inflamed, causing itchiness, sneezing, and a runny or blocked nose.

 
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Background story

Of the migrants born in temperate China, less than 20 per cent of those who had lived here for under three years reacted to the mites. But this proportion rose to 50 per cent for those who had been here for more than eight years.