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Dr. Emile Somekh emigrated to Israel from Baghdad, Iraq, in 1950. He soon noted an epidemic of bronchial asthma among the children of Iraqi Jews who had recently settled in Israel. While living in Iraq, no member of the group had had bronchial asthma. Dr. Somekh speculates that, although the Iraqi Jews had the genetic predisposition to develop allergies, the manifestation lay dormant during their 2,500 years in Iraq, only to appear on their move to Israel, where environmental factors (aeroallergens, foods, and living conditions) triggered their genetically prepared reactive mechanisms. The study of genetic control of immunologic responsiveness is now one of the most popular fields in allergy and immunology. At a clinical level, Dr. Somekh had made an important historical observation. In addition, the challenge to understand this phenomenon set him on a career in clinical allergy.
The number of printed works in the field of pediatric allergy
SCHWARTZ RH. A Parent's Guide to Children's Allergies.. Am J Dis Child. 1974;127(1):144. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110200146022