Tick-borne disease can make you allergic to meat/mammal products

Tick-borne disease can make you allergic to meat/mammal products
Doctors and residents in northwest Arkansas warn of a tick bite that can make you allergic to meat and mammal products. (Source: KNWA)

BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KAIT/KNWA) -Doctors and residents in Northwest Arkansas continue to warn about the dangers of alpha-gal syndrome (AGS).

According to a report from NBC affiliate KNWA, the allergy, transmitted by Lone Star tick bites, caused one Bella Vista resident to have an anaphylactic reaction after eating steak.

“I woke up, luckily, right before I suffocated,” Bob McClendon said. “I was unable to breathe. I rolled over into the floor on my hands and knees. I was unable to stand.”

McLendon said he first saw the symptoms back in 2016 but doctors continued to prescribe him with antibiotics.

Dr. Tina Merritt of the Allergy & Asthma Clinic of NWA said it’s important to watch what you consume if you’re diagnosed.

“Once you get the allergy, the only treatment is avoiding things that are mammal,” Merritt said. “That means foods, but it also includes products. So, we have to watch what shampoo we use, what makeup we use.”

Symptoms of alpha-gal syndrome include hives, rashes, blisters, and lesions. Another unique symptom is that it causes the affected person to be allergic to mammalian meat and its by-products.

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