Lone star ticks found commonly in Tennessee Valley raising concerns of red meat allergy

    According to experts, the tick season in this year is turning out to be one of the worst ones in the recent times with the emergence of a new threat emerging from tick bites in the form of allergy to meat. A dentist in Chattanooga, Dr. Mark McOmie was diagnosed with such allergy known as the Alpha-Gal allergy last year. The Alpha Gal allergy was developed after being bitten by the lone star tick. McOmie suspected that there was something wrong four years ago after consuming red meat at a restaurant in Chicago. He stated that the allergic reaction started at midnight and he was in anaphylactic shock by 3 o’clock in the morning.

    According to Dr. Todd Levin, the lone star tick is commonly found in the Tennessee valley as well as throughout the south and specifically in the southeast. Dr. Levin is serving as an allergist at the Chattanooga Allergy Clinic which has witnessed over 200 cases of Alpha-Gal allergy. He further added that in the present scenario the Alpha-Gal allergy is completely new with nothing remotely similar to it in terms of effect and prevalence. The allergy has been discovered within the recent five to seven years by doctors in the Tennessee Valley.

    The symptoms of Alpha-Gal are considerably severe that include hives, diarrhea, wheezing, and nausea, shortness of breath, vomiting, and coughing. Patients require an immediate change in their diet following the diagnosis of Alpha-Gal. Dr. Levin stated that the patient’s diet would not include gelatin, all forms of red meat, dairy products and all types of mammal products.

    The problems in the Alpha-Gal allergy could last for a lifetime albeit with specific cases in which people outgrow the allergy. It is advisable for patients to wait for one year from their diagnosis in order to identify whether they are still allergic or not. Therefore, the best option for reducing the chances of contracting the Alpha-Gal allergy is to avoid exposure to ticks.

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