According to a recent Newsday report, Suffolk County has the highest incidence of meat allergy alpha gal syndrome caused by ticks in the country. According to newly released statistics from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Suffolk County ranked first in the country for probable instances of alpha gal syndrome (AGS) between 2017 and 2022. The illness has recently made headlines due to cases that have been recorded in Texas, but there have also been an increasing number of suspected cases across the nation.
Are Medical Professionals Aware of Alpha Gal Syndrome?
Nearly half of the 1,500 general practitioners, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants surveyed by the CDC had never heard of the syndrome. “Among those who are aware of AGS, diagnosis and management knowledge is low.”
Developing Public Health Issue
According to the CDC, this is a significant new public health issue that could have detrimental long-term effects on some patients’ health. However, other tick species have not been completely ruled out. Growing evidence points to the bite of a lone star tick as the primary cause of AGS in the United States. More positive test results were found in areas of the United States’ south, middle, and middle Atlantic.
What signs might there be?
“People with alpha gal syndrome may experience a wide range of symptoms, including 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 eye lids, dizziness or faintness, or severe stomach pain,” according to the CDC press release. The typical onset of symptoms is 2–6 hours after consuming food or after additional exposure to alpha-gal-containing items (such as drugs coated in gelatin). An allergist or other healthcare professional must do diagnostic testing for antibodies specific to alpha-gal in order to diagnose alpha gal syndrome. This needs a complete history with compatible symptoms. Additionally, your healthcare provider might advise allergy skin testing.
Are dogs impacted by an AGS-infected tick?
The AKC website states that canine ehrlichiosis is prevalent all around the world. Ticks of several species, including the American dog tick, Lone Star tick, and Brown dog tick, are to blame. Fever, poor appetite, and low blood platelets (cells that aid in blood clotting) are symptoms, which are frequently identified by nasal bleeding or other bruising or anemia-related symptoms. After a tick bite, symptoms appear one to three weeks later. If a dog is recognized and treated right away, their prognosis can be favorable, but those who progress to the chronic stage have a harder time recovering.