Nasty bugs abound in Beijing these sweaty, summer days (and by that I don’t just mean mosquitoes) – lately it seems that every day yet another of my daughter’s classmates or a colleague at work falls victim to some form of seasonal illness — be it a simple summer cold or strep throat.
The latter (and its related ailment Scarlet Fever) has reportedly been spreading around many Beijing offices and schools (those that are still in session, that is), as has the annual summer outbreak of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.
Fortunately our daughter has yet to succumb to any of these more serious ailments (knock on wood), but the constant humidity and highly unhealthy air quality has meant a summer of non-stop sniffling, sneezing and coughing for both my daughter and me.
Although these symptoms have not amounted to anything serious, we’ve been suffering nonetheless – especially at night and in the early mornings when both of us wake up in a chorus of coughing, sniffling and sneezing.
Aside from the more obvious environmental factors, my minimal medical knowledge makes speculating about what’s behind all this (much less what to do about it) seem futile, but I’m willing to bet that our mutual misery is the net result of a steady intake of allergens from our compound garden and the millions of dust mites burrowed deep in our bedsheets.
These nasty little eight-legged buggers thrive in humidity and love to munch on the dead skin cells that collect in your bed sheets and furniture. Fortunately there are ways to counter these microscopic menaces through the use of air purifiers, encasements, sprays and special vacuum cleaners – a variety of which are available on taobao. Do a search for the term "尘螨" [chen(2) man(1)] for a list of local and imported product options.
We are planning on ordering a few of these items, for which I am awaiting (quite literally) with baited breath — I’ll let you know in forthcoming post how they work.
More on Dust Mites here.
And check out this Popular Mechanics Article, 5 Places in Your Home that are Breeding Superbugs, here.