It’s Tick Season and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department warns of the anticipated increase in tick-borne illness, alpha-gal syndrome.

What is AGS?  It is caused when a lone star tick that has fed on other mammals bites a person and transfers the alpha-gal carbohydrate into their bloodstream.  Once bitten by this tick it can lead to an allergy to red meat.

People with AGS usually see signs of an allergic reaction 2 to 8 hours after eating red meat, organ meat, and other products made from mammals, such as gelatins and dairy products. Symptoms of a reaction caused by AGS include:

  • Hives, itching, or itchy, scaly skin.
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, throat, or other body parts.
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath.
  • Stomach pain, diarrhea, upset stomach, or vomiting.

There is no treatment for AGS, and it can last between eight months and five years. People who contract AGS are advised to avoid additional tick bites and stop eating red meat. Further tick bites can lead to complications or more severe reactions.




(credit to KY3)

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