American tick bite causes incurable allergy to red meat

In the past decade, reputable American allergist Scott Commins was one of the first to describe the acquisition of an alpha-gal (α-Gal) allergy due to the bite of a Lone Star tick. Then he knew only a few dozen cases all over the world, but today Commins states with undisguised horror: more than 5, 000 infected people have been registered in the United States alone. And there is no cure for this ailment.

Alpha-gal is a specific complex carbohydrate that is produced in the body of many mammals, but not humans. By default, it is harmless to people, however, experts state that after being inside the tick, the carbohydrate somehow changes, and the human immune system begins to perceive it as an aggressor, with all the ensuing consequences. This is only a theory that helps to roughly understand where the danger comes from.

A tick, having dined on an alpha-gal from the blood of a cow, transfers its dangerous modification to a person, and the latter becomes allergic to this carbohydrate. Now any red meat, including pork, plus dairy products, the body takes for a toxin and begins a fierce struggle with them. Nausea, swelling, choking, indigestion, etc., is a combination of allergy symptoms and severe food poisoning. Fatal cases have not yet been recorded, but thousands of patients have already had to be hospitalized.

Ice cream and the usual curd - and they fall into the area of ​​risk. Until the very end of life, since modern medicine can offer no help other than advice on abstinence. To make matters worse, this allergy is a vector-borne disease, which tripled in number between 2004 and 2016. The reason lies in global warming and an increase in the time of tick activity per year, and then it will only get worse, experts warn.