Watch out, it’s raining bacteria, Daily News & Analysis (Mumbai, India), October 26, 2010:
[A]ccording to a study conducted by a team of researchers from the Department of Environmental Science at the Bangalore University, it's preferable to stay out of the rain altogether.
The study has revealed the presence of pathogenic bacteria... which could lead to various health problems...
What types of health problems?
The study... stated that these bacteria could cause illnesses like meningitis, bacterial pneumonia, endocarditis and necrotizing fasciitis [flesh-eating bacteria], especially in children and people whose immune system had been suppressed. They also led to skin allergies and rashes.
Where is the bacteria?
The study stated that E Coli, Pseudomonas spp, and fungal species like Fusarium spp, and Alternaria spp, populated the breathing zone up to 1.2 to two metres. The number of organisms, however, reduced by 68 per cent above the breathing zone. The bacterial and fungal pollution randomly decreased after the rains. ...
“These fungal species can cause infectious disease, have acute toxic effects, and give rise to allergies and cancers. The study revealed that initial rain, during summer, enhanced the bio-pollution emission from the soil surface and other sources, which is harmful to humans beings,” Dr Nandini said.
How does this process occur?
[D]uring summer there is a lot of dust and particulate matter in the atmosphere, which settles in the stratosphere. Hence, when the first rain occurs, all microbes that were growing in the atmosphere are brought down...
[W]hen the initial rain hits the soil, the fungi in the ground are sent into the air, in the form of bio-aerosols. These bio-aerosols are very dangerous and when people breathe them in, they give rise to respiratory problems.
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