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Two Moldy Day-care Centers: a Follow-up Study of Respiratory Symptoms and Infections

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The aim was to study the respiratory symptoms among children exposed to indoor air molds in a day-care environment in Finland. Two day-care centers with a mold problem and two reference day-care centers were included in the study and the health data of the children were collected with a follow-up study of two periods. A total of 229 children 3-7 years old attended the day-care centers. During the first follow-up period, the children in the two day-care centers with mold problems had a significantly increased risk of sore throat, purulent and non-purulent nasal discharge, nasal congestion, hoarseness and common cold. During the second follow-up period, a significantly increased risk of purulent nasal discharge, nasal congestion, hoarseness and cough was observed. Upper respiratory tract symptoms, at least once during the study period, were more prevalent among the children attending mold-problem day-care centers. The mold-exposed children had such symptoms repeatedly or the symptoms were prolonged. In conclusion, in the mold-problem day-care centers, overall morbidity for respiratory symptoms and for common cold increased in comparison with the reference day-care centers.
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Keywords: Children; Day-care; Follow-up study; Indoor air; Mold exposure; Respiratory symptoms

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Public Health Institute, Division of Environmental Health, P.O.B 95, Sf-70701 Kuopio, Finland 2: Kuopio Regional Institute of Occupational Health, Kuopio, Finland

Publication date: December 1, 1997

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