Blog CDC Reports Rise In Alpha-Gal Syndrome: Meat Consumers At Risk Of “Fatal Hypersensitivity

CDC Reports Rise In Alpha-Gal Syndrome: Meat Consumers At Risk Of “Fatal Hypersensitivity

Two days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted increased allergic conditions from consuming meat products. 

The condition, called alpha-gal syndrome, is caused due to the sugar that is found in the meat products of mammals, which is the primary trigger.

The emerging condition is associated with a tick bite, characterized by severe hypersensitivity to the oligosaccharide (sugar) found in animal meat products. The saliva of the tick (“the lone star”) was traced to be the source by US scientists. 

The lone star is a tick found mainly in the eastern and southern parts of the country, with experts noticing their expansion due to climate change. This tick is found in animal meat and those products derived from mammals. 

Specifically, the meat is derived from beef, pork, rabbit, venison, lamb, gelatin, and dairy products such as milk. The possibility of the tick spreading can be from pharmaceuticals. 

The symptoms resemble an allergic reaction, including shortness of breath, hives, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fatal anaphylaxis

The condition can last for years as there is no cure yet. The allergies can, thus, remain for a long time. Dr. Johanna Salzer, an expert in disease ecology, shared her insight on the nature of the conditions saying that the actual number of people affected by the condition could be closer to half a million. 

The slow digestion of animal meat leads to the delay in spotting any symptoms. The number of reported cases has risen to 15,000 per year. 

In addition, the CDC shared that they face difficulty in diagnosis, which leads to a rise in the number of cases. 

The guide to preventing the condition includes staying covered outdoors, using insect repellant, and checking daily for tick bites. The characteristic white spot on the back of the tick makes it easy to spot.

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