Doctors see uptick in Lone Star tick-borne diseases

Posted: Updated:
COMMACK -

Tick-borne diseases from Lone Star ticks are on the rise on Long Island.

Doctors at Stony Brook Medicine's Advanced Specialty Care say they've had an increase in calls and visits about alpha-gal syndrome.

The syndrome makes people develop a food allergy to red meat often after being bitten by a Lone Star tick.

Dorothy Comodore, of Ridge, contracted alpha-gal syndrome. It took one month for her to get properly diagnosed, and says she was baffled by what was happening.

Officials say 80% of the ticks sent to the lab have been Lone Star ticks so far this year. That's up about 20% from this time last year.

Dr. Brianne Navetta is an allergist specialist who says the alpha-gal syndrome is difficult to diagnose. She says there is a six-hour delayed reaction after eating red meat.

Symptoms of alpha-gal syndrome include hives, itching, scaly skin, swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, wheezing or shortness of breath, runny nose, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, sneezing, headaches and anaphylaxis or restricted breathing.

Doctors at Stony Brook say Long Islanders who believe they have developed symptoms of the allergy should consult their doctor.

Related Information:
Tick Encounter
Mayo Clinic
CDC

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