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Weather dependent nasal erythema in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)

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Report by Stewart Teece and Bernard A Foëx, Santa’s little helpers

Checked by Kevin Mackway-Jones, Professor of all things jolly

A short cut review was carried out to establish whether nasal erythema in a reindeer might be a useful navigational aid on Christmas Eve. From a search of nine papers, five presented evidence relevant to the question. The author, date and country of publication, “subjects” studied, study type, relevant outcomes, results and study weaknesses of these papers are presented in table 3. The clinical bottom line is that a reindeer with a red nose at rest at the North Pole would not inspire confidence.

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Table 3

Three part question

[During inclement weather, especially low temperature and fog] is [nasal erythema in reindeer (mythical or otherwise)] a [good indicator of fitness for 24 h transglobal navigation and travel]?

Clinical scenario

On Christmas Eve you intend to …

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