Growing number of southwest Missouri residents diagnosed with alpha-gal food allergy – News – The Carthage Press – Missouri News

Growing number of southwest Missouri residents diagnosed with alpha-gal food allergy – News – The Carthage Press –  Missouri News

Carthage native Robert Downey, 65, would kill for a ribeye steak. Neosho High School Senior Kelsey Allen, 17, loves brisket. But neither Downey nor Allen dares touch the foods they love anymore because of a tick bite. And yes, they miss it.

Carthage native Robert Downey, 65, would kill for a ribeye steak. Neosho High School Senior Kelsey Allen, 17, loves brisket. But neither Downey nor Allen dares touch the foods they love anymore because of a tick bite.
And yes, they miss it.
“You don’t think about it until you can’t have a taco or a cheeseburger, you think oh man, I’d kill for just a ribeye steak,” Downey, Joplin, said. “It makes a tremendous difference.”
“Beef is a very hard thing to give up, especially when you lived off it your entire life,” Allen added. “No more steak, no more brisket, no more barbecue.”
Allen and Downey are two of a growing number of people in Southwest Missouri who have been diagnosed with the alpha-gal allergy, a food allergy only identified less than a decade ago.
Dr. Hilton McDonald, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Mercy Joplin Hospital, said the allergy is caused by a tick bite, specifically the Lone-Star tick which has a distinctive white spot on its back, and he’s diagnosing, on average, two patients a month with it.
“Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are the most common diseases from ticks, but ticks are a carrier for lots of stuff,” McDonald said. “They’re parasites and they suck on one animal and they go and transfer things to another.”
In the case of the Alpha-Gal allergy, a tick bites a deer or cow or other kind of…

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