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East Afr Med J. 1994 Jul;71(7):473-5.

Allergies and skin testing: a Nairobi experience.


A prospective study of 72 consecutive patients with symptoms of allergy is presented. Patients aged 20-39 years formed the bulk of the study population (55.6%). Most patients had allergic rhinitis (48.6%); bronchial asthma and atopic dermatitis occurred in 29 patients (40.3%) each. Drug allergies were found in 22 patients (30.6%), urticaria in 15 (20.8%), food allergies in 13 (18.1%), contact dermatitis in 10 (13.9%) and allergic conjuctivitis in 6 patients (8.3%). In many cases more than one allergic condition appeared simultaneously. Skin and prick tests and skin patch tests were done on 46 (63.9%) and 65 (90.3%) patients respectively. Soaps were most frequently implicated in positive reactions (75.0%); D. pteronyssinus, drugs, animal dander and foods gave positive reactions in 40.3%, 30.6%, 19.4% and 18.1% respectively. The need to have a high index of suspicion towards allergic conditions, especially extrinsic bronchial asthma, is stressed.

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