Doctors: Red meat allergies linked to East End tick bites

Posted: Updated:
SOUTHAMPTON -

Doctors are seeing a spike in red meat allergies linked to tick bites on the East End.

A bite from a lone star tick gives the victim a severe allergic reaction to beef, pork or venison. Doctors say there is no cure.

Rebecca Ferguson, of Moriches, was bitten by a lone star tick two years ago and had to be rushed to the hospital a few hours after eating a cheeseburger.

"My throat started closing and that's when…everything was just getting a little blurry," says Ferguson. 

Doctors say with some patience over time, the allergic reactions can subside.

"We do know it can go away if you can avoid further lone star ticks," says Dr. Erin McGintee. 

After two years, Ferguson is getting better and her doctor says she can eat beef or pork again in small amounts. 

The tick is characterized by a white spot on its back and carries the alpha-gal meat allergy. Southampton Hospital has seen over 370 cases since 2010. They have started a tick resource center where residents can find information about treatment and ask questions. 

Doctors say using bug spray, wearing long clothes or avoiding wooded areas altogether can help prevent tick bites.
 

  • Long Island Top StoriesMore>>

  • NTSB takes over probe of Lynbrook LIRR platform death

    NTSB takes over probe of Lynbrook LIRR platform death

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 10:04 PM EDT2018-04-26 02:04:25 GMT
    The federal government is taking over the investigation into the death of a man at the Long Island Rail Road station in Lynbrook.The federal government is taking over the investigation into the death of a man at the Long Island Rail Road station in Lynbrook.

    The federal government is taking over the investigation into the death of a man at the Long Island Rail Road station in Lynbrook.

    The federal government is taking over the investigation into the death of a man at the Long Island Rail Road station in Lynbrook.

  • What's in the Water: Eco-friendly water treatment in Suffolk

    What's in the Water: Eco-friendly water treatment in Suffolk

    Thursday, April 26 2018 9:49 AM EDT2018-04-26 13:49:42 GMT
    Suffolk County is promoting an eco-friendly water treatment device that replaces cesspools or septic tanks in an effort to help clean up Long Island's groundwater and save its bays.Suffolk County is promoting an eco-friendly water treatment device that replaces cesspools or septic tanks in an effort to help clean up Long Island's groundwater and save its bays.

    Suffolk County is promoting an eco-friendly water treatment device that replaces cesspools or septic tanks in an effort to help clean up Long Island's groundwater and save its bays.

    Suffolk County is promoting an eco-friendly water treatment device that replaces cesspools or septic tanks in an effort to help clean up Long Island's groundwater and save its bays.

  • Reward offered in Uniondale armed home invasion

    Reward offered in Uniondale armed home invasion

    Thursday, April 26 2018 5:41 AM EDT2018-04-26 09:41:05 GMT
    Detectives say on March 31, three Hispanic men broke into a home on Harrison Street.Detectives say on March 31, three Hispanic men broke into a home on Harrison Street.
    Detectives say on March 31, three Hispanic men broke into a home on Harrison Street.Detectives say on March 31, three Hispanic men broke into a home on Harrison Street.

    Detectives say on March 31, three Hispanic men broke into a home on Harrison Street.
     

    Detectives say on March 31, three Hispanic men broke into a home on Harrison Street.
     

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."