Ticks have been a long-standing issue for residents in New Jersey, but now, with the presence of the Lone Star tick, a new threat has emerged in the form of Alpha-gal syndrome. This condition is a recently identified type of food allergy caused by the bite of the Lone Star tick, which transmits a sugar molecule called alpha-gal into the person’s body.
What is Alpha-gal Syndrome? Alpha-gal syndrome is a condition that triggers an immune system reaction in some people after a bite from the Lone Star tick. This reaction later produces mild to severe allergic reactions to red meat and other products made from mammals, such as beef, pork or lamb. This condition has also been diagnosed in Europe, Australia, and Asia, where other types of ticks carry alpha-gal molecules.
Symptoms and Diagnosis Researchers now believe that some people who have frequent, unexplained anaphylactic reactions and who test negative for other food allergies may be affected by Alpha-gal syndrome. There is currently no treatment for the condition, and the only way to avoid the symptoms is to avoid red meat and other products made from mammals.
Prevention is Key To prevent Alpha-gal syndrome, avoiding tick bites is crucial. The Lone Star tick has now made its way into New Jersey, and residents are encouraged to take preventive measures to protect themselves. These include signing up for an all-natural seasonal tick and mosquito reduction program, wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and using insect repellents when in wooded, grassy areas. It’s also essential to do a thorough, full-body tick check after spending time outside.
Alpha-gal syndrome is a serious condition that residents in New Jersey should be aware of. With the presence of the Lone Star tick, the risk of contracting this condition is higher. However, by taking preventive measures and avoiding tick bites, residents can protect themselves and their families from this terrible allergy.