Many of us know that we have to be extra weary of tick bites in the summertime. The little blood suckers can be very dangerous, and their bites can lead to Lyme disease and other terrible symptoms.
Recently, a tick bite-associated allergic condition called alpha-gal syndrome has been popping up in Long Island, and the Suffolk County area has become an epicenter for the condition.
So, what is alpha-gal?
Alpha gal syndrome, otherwise known as AGS, is a condition that originates from the bite of a lone star tick. The lone star tick is often found in forest and grassy ecosystems and is characterized by the white or silver spot on its back.
When a person contracts alpha-gal, it causes a very strange allergy to red meat and dairy. These allergic reactions can sometimes be life-threatening.
Meat from mammals like beef, pork, venison, rabbit, and lamb triggers allergic reactions, as well as dairy. However, seafood, chicken, and other poultry are typically safe for people with AGS.
People who have been eating meat all their lives may suddenly have allergic reactions like hives, itchy rashes, and difficulty breathing if they have alpha-gal syndrome.
Alpha gal syndrome isn’t very well known, but it may not be as rare as we would think.
A new study released by the CDC revealed that alpha-gal syndrome could be affecting approximately 450,000 Americans.
When the CDC conducted a survey to see how many medical professionals were aware of the syndrome, 4 out of 5 healthcare providers were not aware or had little knowledge about it.