The CDC is warning about an increase in the previously rare Alpha-gal Syndrome (AGS), which develops in people when a tick species called the Lone Star Tick passes a molecule into their bloodstream.
From January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2022, 357,119 test results were received from residents in the United States. This corresponds to 295,400 people. In total, 90,018 persons (30.5%), received a positive result during the study period. The number of people with positive results increased from 13,371 to 18,885 between 2017 and 2021. The U.S. Census Bureau region had the most geographic data on 233 521 people was the Midwestern and mid-Atlantic. Most of these counties were in the south. These data show the emergence of AGS in a variety of ways and can be used by state and local agencies to initiate surveillance, target public health outreach programs, and educate healthcare providers in high-risk areas…
In the United States, the number of AGS patients is expected to rise in the next few years. This presents a need for coordinated public health initiatives, including: 1) community education aimed at tick bite prevention, to reduce the risk of acquiring AGS; 2) HCP training to improve the timely diagnosis and treatment, and 3) enhanced surveillance to assist public health decisions.
If we accept the CDC’s claim of an increase in AGS, it is important to note that neither the agency nor any Public Health authority has provided a plausible explanation as to why the cases suddenly exploded. We are left to guess as to why.
Now Public Health officials from Virginia have reported similar concerns to CDC.
Health officials in Virginia have said that alpha-gal syndrome, a public health issue with potentially fatal consequences, is increasing as more people test positive.
The Alpha-gal Syndrome (AGS) can be fatal. It is a meat allergy contracted by tick bites. Alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) is a meat allergy that can be life-threatening. It’s a little-known condition caused by tick bites.
Julia Murphy, state public health veterinarian at the Virginia Department of Health, said that it is spread by tick bites. The lone-star tick is especially prevalent in Virginia.
She told WSET that “we do have a large number of lone-star ticks in Virginia. We think this is driving what we see in Virginia in terms of alpha-gal and people who test positive for Alpha-gal.”
Again, this is an entirely inadequate explanation. It has been established that the AGS-causing molecule is transmitted by lone star ticks that have existed in North America for thousands, if not millions, of years. For decades, the disease and its symptoms — which are often very obvious — have been measurable and testable. All that is required is to test the presence of an antibody to the Alpha-gal molecule. There is no argument that the disease has become more easily diagnosable.
There are only two possibilities in my view:
This anti-meat campaign is a fearmongering effort that is not based on the Alpha-gal Syndrome.
Alpha-gal syndrome is not any more prevalent than it previously was, and this is an anti-meat fearmongering campaign.
There is something else in the environment besides lone star ticks causing alpha-gal syndrome.