PORTRAIT OF THE WEEK
Daily Mail, Tuesday, September 21, 1993
YOU ARE unlikely to hew been formally introduced to the Dennatophagoides pteronyssinus, but the chances are that you shared your bed with him and more than a million members of his family last night.
Better known as dust mites, they are rhinoceroid bugs with sight legs and bulbous bodies, closely related to scorpions and spiders. And even though each is no bigger than a full stop on a printed page, the problems they are causing are enormous.
A MORI survey has just shown that more than 11 million people suffer from allergy-linked asthma, eczema or nasal problems caused by a protein found in the mites' dropping. As the British Allergy Foundation launches its 'Fight. Mite campaign to check the progress of the was beastie, the Daily Mail puts the troublesome past under the microscope ...
SIZE AND DIET DUST mites are very attrutive. at least according to Dr Anne Baker, doctor of acarology in the Department of Entomology at the British Museum of Natural History They have a host of tiny folds on them backs which make up 'quite a pretty pat- tern'. The mita look • bit like a walking egg — with the fat bit towards the front The mite's abdomen in effectively Joined to as head, so there's not much In the neck department.
The mites are visible to the naked eye — If you look clowely. At 0.4 to 0.5mm long, our friend to a medium-sized bug, • mere 30th the size of the common house fly. The sag mite Is the soaallest, measuring in at 0.09mm Beame. of human skin are its staple diet. but It also eam other human debris that collects in carpets. upholstered furniture and Mr John Major, the Prime Minister, said that there was 'no vacancy' for his job. He later added that four of his critics were 'barmy'. He was speaking from Japan where he had gone to sell Rolls-Royce engines; but he failed to gain compensation for former prisoners of war of the Japanese. He went on to Malaysia, where his policy on Bosnia was publicly criticised and then to Monaco, where he put in a plea for the Olympic Games to be held in Manchester. Nissan reduced its production at Sunderland by 9 per cent because of reduced demand in Europe. Police announced plans to reward informers with regular salaries of up to £1,000 a month. The Liberal Democrats, meeting in Torquay, voted for high taxes on fuel. Protestant terrorists attacked the homes of five SDLP politicians in Northern Ireland with bombs, though no one was hurt; the leader of the SDLP, Mr John Hume, is holding a series of talks with Mr Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein leader. Mr Paul Keating, the Prime Minister of Australia, told the Queen, his host at Balmoral, that he wanted his country to be a republic by 2001. Laura Davies, a five year old from Manchester, had a stomach, kidneys, large intestine, small intestine, liver and pancreas transplanted into her in America, after the failure of a similar operation last year; this has cost £800,000 so far. Mr Derek Beack- on won the Millwall ward in east London for the British National Party, which favours repatriation of black people. Mr Salman Rushdie's book Midnight's Children, which won the Booker Prize in 1981, was voted the best winner since the prize began. The Wrens are to be scrapped in favour of a mixed naval service. Two Britons died when a coach carrying 57 nud- ists crashed in France; 16 survivors had their plane crash as they were returning to England, . this time with no casualties. Leonard Parkin, the foreign correspondent and News at Ten presenter, died, aged 64.
RUSSIA was in turmoil after President Yeltsin suspended parliament and called elections for December. Parliament, mostly old communists, defied him, deposed him and appointed his deputy and enemy, Alexander Rutskoi, in his place. It also appointed new ministers of defence, securi- ty and the interior. President Clinton of the United States and other Western leaders, voiced support for Mr Yeltsin. In Georgia, the capital of the Abkhazian region, Sukhu- mi, was under siege from regional secces- sionists; President Eduard Shevardnadze refused to leave, though he had received no
backing from Russia. The Prime Minister of Ukraine resigned after a vote by the anti- reformist parliament. Peace talks between the three sides in Bosnia on HMS Invincible ended with no plans to continue with dis- cussions in Sarajevo; President Alia Izetbe- govic of Bosnia said that he would put the proposed deal to the Bosnian Parliament. The ex-communists, under the name Democratic Left Alliance, won the largest share of votes in the Polish elections and are to try to form a government with the help of the Peasants' Party. French farmers may be accommodated by a compromise in a new EEC agricultural deal designed to allow conclusion of the interminable Gatt round of world trade talks. China, desper- ate to hold the Olympic Games in 2000. first threatened to boycott the Atlanta games in 1996, then offered to let the Inter- national Human Rights Federation visit political prisoners it has jailed. But ministry officials in Peking denied any such possibil- ity. The central bank in Japan cut its dis- count rate for banks to borrow money to 1.75 per cent. Thirty died in 24 hours in black versus black shootings in South Africa. A drunken Norwegian fell. asleep between the rails of the Oslo-Trondheim railway and awoke to find a train had
passed over his unharmed body. CSH