Meat allergy from tick bites is on the increase. Allergists all over the South and Eastern seaboard are reporting an increasing number of cases of patients who develop a severe meat allergy after being bitten by ticks.
Lone star ticks appear to be the tick species most likely to transmit the allergy, but other ticks types are also suspected.
The allergy was first described in an academic journal by allergist Dr. Scott Commins at the University of Virginia in 2011. Since then, hundreds of cases have been diagnosed on Long Island and across the mid-Atlantic states.
Of interest to allergists is that the allergy is the result of a sugar, dubbed alpha-gal, rather than the more typical protein.
It appears that the allergy may fade over several months time, but being rebitten by a tick may cause the disease to reactivate.
Patients Louise Danzig and Georgette Simmons comment, along with Dr. Robert Valet.