VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – As we enjoy all the early spring flowers at the end of February… people with allergies are already worried about an itchy, eye wateringly early season.
We’re not just talking about runny noses and red eyes; some people can have life-threatening sensitivities.
“When it comes to allergy and asthma, it’s really becoming an epidemic in Canada,” says SFU Professor Fiona Brinkman, an infectious disease expert.
She and her team are creating a comprehensive allergy and reaction database.
“Things like severe asthma are a huge burden on the health care system. So if we can sort of predict these people who are going to develop severe asthma and target them more for intervention, we could really help reduce health cost dollars.”
Brinkman says our culture of clean is adding to the problem.
“It’s really important for very young children to get exposure to microbes so that they properly prime their immune system and develop their immune system properly,” she explains.
She adds there’s an easy way to do that:
“One of the most protective things you can do to avoid developing allergies is get a dog,” says Brinkman.