An Akwa-based medical practioner, Mrs. Mary Mbelu, says keeping cats can aggravate Asthma attack in the sufferer. Mbelu, a former Director of Nursing, Odumegwu Ojukwu School of Nursing, Anambra, made this known on Friday in Akwa.
She said that the cat’s fur or hair could collect allergens such as dust or pollen substances that cause allergic reactions.
According to her, Asthma condition is characterised by recurring respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightening.
“The symptoms are variable and can fluctuate for each individual over time.
“Symptoms of asthma can be caused by triggers such as tobacco smoke, dust mites, body sprays, insecticides, air pollution, pollen, mold, respiratory infections, physical activity and cold.
“Human contact with cats can also trigger the symptoms.
“When you keep the cats as pets, it fur or hair carries allergens like dust and pollen, and they can be stirred into the air when the cat is petted or groomed.
“These air borne particles are small enough to get into the lungs. For some people, this exposure can cause severe breathing problems.
“Highly sensitive people can begin coughing, wheezing and have shortned of breath within 15 to 30 minutes of inhaling allergens.
“Keep pets out of your home. If possible try to avoid cats, this may give you enough relief that you will not need medicine.”