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COVID-19 in the Asia Pacific: Impact on climate change, allergic diseases and One Health.

Climate change and environmental factors such as air pollution and loss of biodiversity are known to have a major impact not only on allergic diseases but also on many noncommunicable diseases. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in many environmental changes during the different phases of the pandemic. The use of face masks, enhanced hand hygiene with hand rubs and sanitizers, use of personal protective equipment (gowns and gloves), and safe-distancing measures, reduced the overall incidence of respiratory infections and other communicable diseases. Lockdowns and border closures resulted in a significant reduction in vehicular traffic and hence environmental air pollution. Paradoxically, the use of personal protective equipment and disposables contributed to an increase in environmental waste disposal and new problems such as occupational dermatoses, especially among healthcare workers. Environmental changes and climate change over time may impact the exposome, genome, and microbiome, with the potential for short- and long-term effects on the incidence and prevalence of the allergic disease. The constant use and access to mobile digital devices and technology disrupt work-life harmony and mental well-being. The complex interactions between the environment, genetics, immune, and neuroendocrine systems may have short- and long-term impact on the risk and development of allergic and immunologic diseases in the future.

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