One Bite From This Bug in Arkansas Can Make You Allergic to Beef
We all worry about bug bites these days with West Nile and Lyme disease. Now that hunting season in full swing, there is another bug bite to worry about because this one can give you some serious allergic reactions and make you allergic to beef and pork.
I found out about this disease a couple of months ago when my husband and I were camping at the lake. We met a wonderful couple from Mountain View, Arkansas and the woman was telling me about it, her symptoms and how she was finally diagnosed.
What is Alpha-Gal?
This is a relatively new disease that doctors are still learning about and it's most prevalent in the southern states and yes big time in Arkansas. It's called Alpha-Gal and you can get it from a tick. The Lone Star Tick to be exact and it is causing people to have allergic reactions to red meat. Yes, beef and pork too.
No More Steak? No More Bacon?
Can you imagine? No more ribeye steaks. No more bacon, beef tenderloin, sausage, pork tenderloin, roasts or hamburgers? That sounds like about one of the worse things ever.
Lone Star Ticks Are Tiny!
Lone Star Ticks are small and the females have a little white-yellowish dot on their backs.
The Allergy is Often Missed or Misdiagnosed
According to the Arkansas Department of Health:
Since the reaction to eating mammal meat is delayed by several hours, the proper diagnosis is often missed or misdiagnosed.
Most food allergies show up almost immediately but an allergy to meat can take up to 8 hours making it even harder to diagnose.
Rash or hives
Angioedema - Swelling and redness, especially around the eyes, cheeks or lips.
Whole-body itching and sometimes even Anaphylaxis Shock
If You Think You Have Alpha-Gal
If you suspect you might have Alpha-Gal there is a simple blood test you can have done by an allergist.
Stay Tick Free
In the meantime, here are some ways to try to stay tick-free.
Tuck pant legs into socks and wear white long sleeves also use bug spray with Deet
Check out the videos below to find out more information about Alpha-Gal.
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