Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tick bites causing red meat allergy.

The AP (8/8, Marchione) reports that US physicians “are seeing a surge of sudden meat allergies in people bitten by a certain kind of tick” known as the Lone Star Tick, which has begun to “spread from the Southwest and the East to more parts of the United States.” According to the AP, the ticks “harbor a sugar that humans don’t have, called alpha-gal,” which is found in red meat. A bite from the tick “triggers an immune system response...and makes antibodies to it.” Dr. Scott Commins, of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, “who with a colleague, Dr. Thomas Platts-Mills, published the first paper tying the tick to the illness in 2011,” pointed out that the allergy “does not seem to be lifelong, but the caveat is, additional tick bites bring it back.”
        TIME (8/8, Dockterman) also reports that “as the so-called Lone Star ticks have spread from the Southwest to the East Coast, more people are getting bit and then going into anaphylactic shock when they try to eat red meat.” The article notes that both patients and physicians “are slow to recognize the risk,” because, according to one allergist, “why would someone think they’re allergic to meat when they’ve been eating it their whole life?”

No comments:

Post a Comment