Courtesy of Alpha-Gal Support Products Facebook page The Lonestar Tick is thought to transmit AlphaGal to humans.

Courtesy of Alpha-Gal Support Products Facebook page

The Lonestar Tick is thought to transmit AlphaGal to humans.

An Alpha-Gal Support Group meeting will be held Thursday, April 25 at Clarkson City Hall.

Alpha-Gal syndrome is a severe allergy to red meat that is thought to be caused by tick bites.

According to Cornell University, certain people may develop a sensitivity to the consumption of meat, including beef, pork, lamb or mutton, as well as occasionally dairy products, after receiving multiple tick bites from the Lone Star Tick.

The Centers for Disease Control state that the Lone Star Tick is commonly found in the southeastern and eastern United States and is a very aggressive tick that bites humans.

In addition to the Lone Star Tick, Alpha-Gal may also be transmitted by the Blacklegged or Deer Tick.

According to the CDC, signs and symptoms of Alpha-Gal syndrome include a rash, hives, difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure, dizziness, nausea/vomiting, and severe stomach pain. Symptoms can occur three to six hours after eating meat or coming into contact with animal products.

According to the CDC, the best way to avoid Alpha-Gal is to protect against ticks. The CDC states that ticks find their hosts by detecting animals' breath, body odors, body heat, moisture and vibrations. Ticks wait on well-used paths on top of grass and shrubs.

Before you go outdoors

*Avoid grassy, brushy, and wooded areas, where ticks may be found.

*Treat clothing and gear with permethrin or buy pre-treated items.

*Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents.

*Take steps to prevent ticks on your pets and in your yard.

After you come indoors

*Check your clothing for ticks.

*Shower and perform a thorough tick check.

*If you see an attached tick, remove it immediately.

For more information about Alpha-Gal, contact Jan Kessinger at (502) 262-2817 or Tara Sallee at (502) 389-0829.