CDC Study: Tick Bite Linked to Increasing Meat Allergy

A ​Close Up⁤ Of An‌ Adult Female ‌Deer Tick, Dog Tick, And⁤ A Lone Star Tick Are ⁢Shown June 15, 2001 On Book Print.⁤ (Photo ‍By Getty ‌Images)

OAN’s Taylor Tinsley
4:30 PM – Thursday, July​ 27, 2023

Thousands‌ of Americans tested positive for a‍ condition‌ that’s ‍triggered by tick bites and are causing allergic reactions‌ to eating⁤ red⁣ meat.


The CDC warned that alpha-gal syndrome⁣ (AGS) is⁤ an “emerging public health concern”. Data ⁢shows between⁤ the years‍ 2010⁢ to 2022 officials identified more than 110,000 cases ⁤across ⁣the U.S., but research scientists estimate the number may actually be ‌near 450,000.

“Cases of AGS are not​ nationally notifiable⁤ to​ CDC, so ‌it is not⁢ known how many cases of AGS exist in ‍the United ⁤States. Additional data and research are needed to understand how many people are affected‍ by this condition.”

According to the newly released research documents, states with‌ established populations ​of lone star ticks are the most​ affected. Other kinds⁤ of ticks, however, have also been ⁢linked⁣ to the condition.

AGS is a⁢ serious, potentially‍ life-threatening allergic condition. It is not‍ caused‌ by an infection and symptoms can occur‍ within two-to-six hours ⁤after people‌ consume red meat or are exposed to other‍ products made from mammals. It’s also ‌known as⁣ red ⁤meat allergy or tick ⁤bite meat allergy.

Alpha-gal patient Bernadine Heller-Greenman told the Associated ​Press that ‌one of the hardest things about making⁤ the diagnosis is that⁤ most‍ don’t know when the bite occurred.

“The first sign was ‍a rash that I had⁤ that I could never⁤ figure out what it was from,” said Heller-Greenman.‍ “A​ rash ⁢on my torso, my thighs, sometimes my thighs, sometimes my arms, but definitely‌ my ⁤torso.”

Other symptoms include:

  • Hives‍ or itchy ‌rash
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
  • Drop in blood‌ pressure
  • Swelling of the lips, throat, tongue,⁣ or eyelids
  • Dizziness or‍ faintness
  • Severe stomach pain

The studies co-author, Johanna Salzer, AGS can be a lifelong condition, but there are a handful of patients who ⁣have been able to reintroduce alpha-gel into their ‍diet while avoiding‌ future tick bites.

Health officials⁣ say it’s important to raise awareness that⁤ AGS is affecting a large number of people in the U.S.. Salzer said sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose someone because of⁤ the⁣ inconsistency of ⁢the symptoms, but emphasized it’s ‌critical for clinicians to be ⁣aware of the condition so they ⁤can properly evaluate, diagnose, manage ⁣and educate their ⁢patients.

This could also make red meat the ⁤10th ⁣most common food allergy in the United States.

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