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Aeroallergen Research with Dr. Kira Geraci

Host: Jon Fiorella
Presenter: Dr. Kira Geraci

Background Information

Allergic diseases, including asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis, affect 50 million Americans, including such people as Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee and President Bill Clinton.

Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is sometimes considered a trivial disease because it isn't usually life threatening; it doesn't require hospitalization or emergency care. When Oregon first drafted its health insurance plan prioritizing illnesses by severity, they left allergic rhinitis completely off the list. So many patients complained about that omission, that the cost of severe allergic rhinitis is now covered by the Oregon plan. Most people today will agree that it is a serious problem.

Aeroallergens are airborne pollen and fungal spores that are the agents of allergy and disease. Aeroallergen research involves monitoring the air on a daily basis for these pollen and fungal spores. Our results are published in the newspaper and are available on a telephone hot line. We also share our data with several hundred doctors in the New York metropolitan area. Our seasonal results become a part of a national database with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), which is headquartered at the Harvard School of Public Health. Schering-Key, the phamacuetical corporation, has generously funded our research for the past several years. My research station is certified with AAAAI and is located at the Harvard School of Public Health. To be a certified station means that the technicians have national certification and that you have an allergist as the station director. Our allergist is Dr. Kira Geraci, who has been my partner in this venture for a number of years now.

We are fortunate to have Dr. Geraci with us to answer questions related to allergies and aeroallergen research. I have worked on this research with her since 1989. Ours is the first certified pollen counting station in our area.

An important website related to this topic is the AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology) site.

The National Allergy Bureau is tied to the AAAAI website.

Links updated: 26 May 2009


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