According to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, 44,000 people have an asthma attack every day in the U.S. For African Americans, we are three times more likely to be hospitalized for and well as die from asthma attacks. While environmental triggers like smoke and pollen are common culprits, during the winter months there’s a potentially life-threatening trigger that’s almost unavoidable: the common cold. The World Health Organization (WHO) cites that 80-90% of attacks are caused by rhinoviruses, the same infections of the airways that are the main cause of colds.
Until now, it’s been unclear how a simple cold could trigger severe asthma attacks, but scientists in the UK may have found the answer: the IL-25 molecule.
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