Mass Hysteria Over Nut Allergies

This quote by Dr. Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School, in the British Medical Journal is causing a bit of an uproar:

"in some cases the "gross over-reaction to the magnitude of the threat" has many of the hallmarks of mass psychogenic illness, or mass hysteria."

He's talking about people's over-reaction to the dangers of food allergies. He goes on to give examples such as the evacuation of a school bus because a peanut shell was found on the floor. He says "The issue is what accounts for the extreme responses to nut allergies and what to do about the responses and the allergies themselves."

Many are angry about his comments. I have always believed that open dialogue about food allergies is the key. Was there a child on the bus who could have a reaction if they even inhaled peanut dust? If so, evacuate the bus. For many though, the presence of a peanut shell would not be a problem. Let's all have our radar up and do what is most reasonable for each circumstance. Most importantly, let's keep talking.

If you want to read more about this opinion piece, click here.
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