29 Jun For all you carnivores out there, not good news!
Red Meat Allergies Caused By Tick Bites Are On The Rise
Ticks are vectors or all kinds of nasty diseases, especially Lyme disease. And if you’re bitten by a Lone Star tick, there is something truly scary for carnivores: a red meat allergy.
Laura Stirling, Severna Park, Md., was diagnosed with the allergy last year. She got a tick bite while walking on a trail with her dog, Gunner, near her home.
“I found [the tick] 3 or 4 inches to the left of my hip bone,” Stirling recalls. At the time, she said, she didn’t think much of it. “I just took it off and threw it away.”
Then, three weeks later, after she ate an Italian-style pork sausage for dinner, she had a horrible reaction. The reaction began about six hours after her meal, which is typical of this allergy. An allergist gave her a blood test to check for an alpha-gal meat allergy. When the test came back positive, she was told to avoid all red meat, including beef, pork and lamb.
The allergy is now on the rise. And it seems to also be creating issues with eating dairy.
Dr. Scott Commins, an allergist and associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, says it is a meat allergy, but about 15 to 20 percent of patients with the alpha-gal allergy also report getting symptoms from dairy, especially high-fat dairy such as ice cream.
That has increased dramatically. “We’re confident the number is over 5,000 [cases], and that’s in the U.S. alone,” Commins says. There are also cases in Sweden, Germany and Australia — likely linked to other species of ticks.
A map of the distribution of Lone Star ticks in the United States – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Read the original report here.