People with skin allergies to zoos are at greater risk of developing an autoimmune disorder, but their chances of developing the condition are decreasing, a new study shows.
Zoos are known to play a role in saving lives.
Some of the animals that are kept in the circuses and zoos around the world are animals that would otherwise die if not treated.
The zoos that keep these animals are often housed in tiny cages, where they can’t get adequate ventilation and air conditioning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
They also have no indoor plumbing, no proper food or water and don’t have any socializing facilities.
So what can zoos do to reduce the risk of disease among their animals?
The first step is to educate the public about zoos and their animals, said researcher Sarah R. Gershoff, an assistant professor at the University of Iowa and the study’s lead author.
They can be very effective at providing information about zoo conditions and other important information, she said.
They are also very likely to be the first line of contact for those who need help.
In the study, Gershhoff and her colleagues analyzed data from more than 100,000 people who answered a questionnaire about their skin conditions, including zoos.
They then compared people with zoos to people without zoos who had similar skin conditions.
People who had been diagnosed with a skin condition were found to have a lower risk of getting an autoimmune disease, but this effect wasn’t seen among those with a non-autoimmune skin condition.
For those with autoimmune skin conditions that weren’t related to zoo diseases, the risk was actually greater.
“Zoos and circuses are at high risk of having an increased risk of skin conditions in the population,” Gershlauft said.
The researchers recommend that people with autoimmune diseases who live in zoos get tested to determine whether they have an increased susceptibility to skin conditions because of zoos’ high exposure to zoonotic animals.
More research is needed to determine if the association between skin conditions and zoo visits is real and if zoos have a role to play in reducing the risk.
The results of the study are available online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.