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The effort to defeat the peanut allergy

Gerry Broome / AP

Two treatments currently on the "verge of approval" could help reduce the risk of life-threatening reactions for those with peanut allergies, the Financial Times reports in a long read that includes several interesting takeaways:

  • One drug is a capsule containing peanut proteins that would be sprinkled over foods. The other is a patch that would be placed on the skin. Both are based on the idea that trace amounts of peanuts, increased over time, can reduce the risk of a serious reaction.
  • Three million people have allergies to peanuts and/or tree nuts, and the rate of peanut allergies among children has quadrupled since 1997.
  • One possible reason? Between 2000-2008 parents were told not to give children peanuts. That turned out to be precisely the wrong advice.
  • There's no simple solution currently available. These treatments would require regular doctor's visits and likely lead to hives, stomach aches and other reactions.