Thursday, June 21, 2012

Meat allergies in central Virginia - caused by a tick

Researchers from the University of Virginia say they've linked a sudden onset of meat allergies to the bite of the Lone Star Tick, which is formally named amblyomma americanum and is commonly found in Virginia. Experts say they've counted 1,000 cases so far, mostly located in central Virginia.

The most puzzling part of the sudden breakout of this specific allergy is the delayed reaction that people seem to have to the tick bite.
"You do not get hives until four hours, and you have no idea how strange that is for us as allergists," University of Virginia researcher Dr. Thomas Platts-Mills said. "It's a completely new form of food allergy in which you eat beef or pork or lamb, and three or four hours later, you develop hives."

 The hives people with the meat allergy develop aren't docile, either - doctors and patients say they burn and itch with a fiery intensity. In fact, bestselling author John Grisham spent years trying to unwrap the mystery of his sudden and painful allergy to meat.


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