The CDC warns that meat allergy, alpha-gal syndrome, from a lone star tick bite is becoming more frequent – they also express their worries for the lack of knowledge behind it despite increased reports.
Allergy Immunology Specialist, Dr. Scott Commins, comments that not many healthcare providers are aware of the allergy while a small margin are confident on detecting and diagnosing it. The allergy is gained from the lone star tick.
Commins remarks that some are able to get rid of the allergy – but notes it’s important to avoid being re-bitten by the tick. He remembers a patient of his who developed the allergy from the tick, but her doctors didn’t know what caused it.
Information Known About Alpha-Gal Syndrome
The patient eventually recovered and was glad that some health providers were aware of treating the allergy. According to the CDC, alpha-gal syndrome is hypersensitivity to meat and products derived from it – which can become life-threatening.
However, symptoms only develop after two to six hours of consuming meat and dairy products – there is no known treatment or cure for it. Symptoms include hives, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, and more. Some cases can be mild, severe or life-threatening.
The CDC urges individuals suffering from it to seek an allergist/healthcare provider, which can be diagnosed through patient history, physical exam, blood test, and possibly allergy skin test. Patients will communicate with their provider to understand food to avoid.
They encourage people to thoroughly read food labels, avoid tick thriving environments, examine one’s self, gear, and pets for any ticks – showering is recommended. Measures should be taken to avoid ticks in house yards and pets.
They advise to use registered insect repellents under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They remark that most cases happen on all ages, but primarily to adults throughout the South, East, and Central states.