Monday, July 05, 2004

Women with messy houses like mine heading for the day care tomorrow morning, take heart...

A recent National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-funded study of 835 kids found that those who'd had no fevers before their first birthday had a 50 percent chance of developing allergies to cats, dogs, ragweed, bluegrass or dust mites by age 6 or 7, compared with a 31 percent chance for kids who'd had fevers early in life. Fever, they reason, is a sign of infection due to germ exposure. And a Danish study of 24,000 families found that babies who had older siblings or pets, lived on farms or went to day care had fewer allergies as they grew up. Now experts wonder whether nearly sterile modern surroundings help explain the recent rise in childhood asthma and allergies.

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