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New Studies Show That Homes With Dogs Have Fewer Kids With Asthma

Are dogs good or bad for kids? Over the years – multiple studies have been published debating the pros and cons of pets and kids.
A new study suggestions that homes with kids have fewer kids with asthma.

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) is an infection that is common in premature children, that is possibly linked to the onset of asthma in later life. For adults, or healthy children who contract RSV, the symptoms are mild, and similar to those of a common cold. For unhealthy people, or babies, it can cause more serious issues that require hospital stays.

For years scientists have been trying to prove that households that have pets can be beneficial not only mentally, but physically as well. They have been collecting information, and doing tests to prove this, and recently have made a breakthrough with the discovery that dog dander contains a microbe that helps fight the RSV virus.

There is a belief that asthma can be linked in some cases back to an episode of RSV, and researchers have been doing work for decades to try to find ways to help. Recently a new study has come to light that says that having canine companions may be a boon in fighting both RSV, and potentially asthma as well.

Even though many people are allergic to dogs, their dander has been proven to contain a microbe that actively works against the RSV virus. Scientists began collecting dust from within homes that had dogs, and mixing it with water to feed to mice. After a few weeks of feeding the mice the dust water, RSV was introduced. Out of the three test groups, one being a control group, not exposed to anything, one being exposed to the RSV virus without any of the dust containing dog dander, and one having been given the dog dander solution, only the group who had not been given the solution contracted the virus. It was also shown that the mice fed the dog dander solution had gut bacteria that was not present in the other two test groups. Studies have also shown that households with dogs have less cases of asthma than those with no dogs.

This research will potentially go a long way in helping scientists develop possibly vaccines, or medications to help cure RSV, and treat asthma.