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How one tiny tick may make you severely allergic to your favorite foods.

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“I felt my throat start to close. I don’t normally have allergies…”

26-year-old Matt Faraco was on an international flight from the U.S. to Israel when his health started to deteriorate. A quick-thinking doctor onboard helped administer a dose of epinephrine that likely saved his life. Upon later examination, doctors reportedly believe he was bit by a tick that made him suddenly allergic to red meat.
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LONE STAR TICK

  • “very aggressive tick that bites humans” (CDC)
  • Dark brown with one lone white mark or “star” on its back
  • Found in southeastern/east U.S.
  • Carries pathogens that can make you sick with flu-like symptoms, & can spread alpha-gal syndrome, which triggers an allergic reaction to a sugar in red meat: “The first reaction can be anaphylactic.” 
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BIG PICTURE

The CDC describes ticks as a “growing threat”

Ticks have spread to larger geographic areas in America and carry new diseases

Reported cases of tick-borne disease have increased

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“It appears the range of this tick is expanding…” says Dr. Scott Commins, one of the first docs to connect the tick with this allergy. He says awareness is important. Read more:

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