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Vivienne Mahon

Vivienne Mahon

Vivienne Mahon is Senior Scientific Officer at airmid healthgroup

Research Innovation Conference and National Health ExpoThe Research & Innovation Conference & Exhibition was held earlier this week. It was a busy day, especially as this year the conference was co-located with the inaugural National Health Expo. Each of the events had a main stage and several seminar rooms where talks were held throughout the day. With a line-up of over 100 speakers it’s an event worth attending as a team, because so many interesting talks were on simultaneously!

Bed Bugs vs House Dust Mites 2Sometimes people can mix up these indoor pests, so this blog post will describe some of the differences between the two.

HomesJune marked the first annual National Healthy Homes Month. This initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was launched to provide people with the opportunity to learn more about housing and its effects on health. The National Center for Healthy Housing estimates that approximately 35 million metropolitan U.S. homes have at least one health and safety hazard. As a means to tackle this issue, HUD set out eight healthy home principles that can be followed to make the home environment healthier.

Bugs vs Drugs Science GalleryYesterday the Science Gallery was the venue for a Health Research Board (HRB) sponsored talk on antimicrobial resistance entitled “Bugs versus Drugs”. It was an evening of insightful discussion between Dr Fidelma Fitzpatrick (Consultant Microbiologist Beaumont Hospital and Senior Lecturer at RCSI), Dr Andrew Murphy (a General Practitioner and Professor in NUI Galway) and science journalist Maryn McKenna. The broadcaster Jonathan McCrea hosted the conversation. As the audience included non-scientists, Dr Fitzpatrick started by explaining that while “bugs” in microbiology include bacteria, viruses and fungi, antibiotics only work against bacteria and often only against a specific type of bacteria. Antibiotic resistance refers to the strategies bacteria develop to prevent antibiotics from acting against them.

Asthma Allergy Awareness MonthMay is a busy time in the asthma and allergy world. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) designates May as Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month. The month starts off with World Asthma Day (May 3rd) and Air Quality Awareness Week (May 2nd to May 6th).

We updated this blog post throughout the month to keep track of some of the events held to raise awareness of asthma, allergies and air quality.

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World Asthma Day 2016Every year since 1999 the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) designates the first Tuesday in May as World Asthma Day. This year World Asthma Day is on May 3rd. The purpose of this annual event is to raise awareness of asthma and its care around the world. Since 2007 the theme of the day has been “you can control your asthma”.

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April 4th – 10th is World Allergy Week. This annual event is an initiative of the World Allergy Organisation (WAO). This year the theme is the effect of climate change on pollen and mold allergies.

Every breath we take report coverToday the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) released the report “Every breath we take: The lifelong impact of air pollution”. The report covers the health effects of air pollution across our lifetime, from before birth to old age. The issue of air pollution is very important. In the UK around 40,000 deaths a year are estimated to be attributable to outdoor air pollution. However the report emphasises that air pollution is not just an outdoors problem. We spend most of our time indoors, so pollution of indoor spaces such as homes, workplaces and schools is just as crucial.

AAAAI floor sign overhead smaller file sizeThe American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) is a professional organization, with nearly 7000 members in over 60 countries, that represents those focused on the research and treatment of allergic disease. 

The 2013 AAAAI annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas (February 22nd-26th) provided a world-class educational and scientific program. Researchers from around the world presented more than 800 abstracts covering a wide range of asthma/immunology topics.