May 28, 2023

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Spring Allergies: Why Do 40 Percent of Japanese Suffer?

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Every year, millions of Japanese people celebrate the blossoming of delicate cherry trees, heralding the arrival of spring. But this change in weather brings with it painful weeks of constant sneezing, nasal congestion and watery eyes for a large percentage of Japanese people. Few people in the Asian country know that this public health problem is linked to World War II (1939-1945) or an expected consequence of climate change.

Affects spring sensitivity ( Hey fever) commonly referred to as pollen allergy or hay fever affects different proportions of the population worldwide. In the United Kingdom, at least one in four people suffer from it, according to UK National Health Service data, while in the United States the rate is less than 10 percent.

But this percentage is unprecedented in Japan, where a 2019 study by a group of Japanese multidisciplinary doctors found that about 40 percent of the country’s 123 million people suffer from this health symptom, known locally as “kafuncho” (dust). disease). pollen).

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photo comment,

In spring, cedar trees release large amounts of pollen to form a cloud

The Japan Forestry Agency estimates that spring allergies cause economic losses of at least $2.2 billion a year, including health care bills and reduced worker productivity. and in early April / In April Prime Minister Fumio Kishida declared the health situation a “social problem” and instructed his ministers to find a solution.

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