Lone Star ticks that cause tick-borne diseases are on the rise on Long Island. Specifically, doctors at Stony Brook Medicine’s Advanced Specialty Care are reporting an increase in the number of calls and visits regarding alpha-gal syndrome, which causes an allergy to red meat. The alpha-gal syndrome is contracted by a tick bite by the particular Lone Star tick. It is reported by officials that the number of Lone Star ticks sent to the lab this year has increased by 20%, making the percentage of Lone Star ticks collected 80% of all tick types.
It is important to note that diagnosis of the alpha-gal syndrome is difficult to determine, partly because symptoms occur about 6 hours after consuming red meat. If you are experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction and believe you may have the alpha-gal syndrome, please consult your doctor.