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Meat allergy after certain tick bites? It's TRUE.

Posted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:10 am
by Marie
This tick, called a "lone star" tick, contains a sugar -- alpha-gal -- which it injects into its hosts. When bitten, the host's body senses the sugar as an allergen and develops ANTIBODIES to it. Also, as it happens, meat also contains alpha-gal, but it doesn't cause the same immune response when you eat it -- just when you're bitten by that tick.

Lack of awareness re the peculiar reaction to lone star tick bites has caused some ppl to show up in ERs repeatedly, until they read or the doctor reads about this recent tick bite/meat allergy phenomenon. Two aspects about it that puzzle the medical community are that, whereas most food allergies are caused by proteins, the tick reaction is to a sugar -- and the reaction occurs several hours after being bitten rather than immediately after exposure to the allergen. Some folks have nearly died of anaphylactic shock before making it to the hospital. :-(