Learning about the Alpha-gal allergy with John Hacker

John Hacker speaking about his reporting on Alpha-gal
John Hacker

Tick bites can be part of regular life when you live in the Four States. In fact, the area is perfect place for ticks to both live and thrive. They love moist, humid environments and live on deer, birds, squirrels, rodents and yes, humans. Once a tick bites you it can lead to a variety of after effects including rash, headache, nausea and it can even make you allergic to mammal meat.

Recently, John Hacker of Carl Junction wrote an article published in the Joplin Globe highlighting how lone star tick bites are making people allergic to both mammal meat and by-products of mammal meat. In the article John details how Joplin resident Nikki Shaw got bit by a tick during the summer of 2018. Like most people though, she didn’t recall getting bit and only after getting sick multiple times and going to the doctor on several occasions was she diagnosed with alpha-gal syndrome.

This has lead to the formation of the Joplin Area Alpha Gal Awareness Group which will meet for the third time on Thursday October 3 at 5:30 at the Joplin Public Library. The meetings allow those who have alpha-gal syndrome to share their stories, food recipes and speak with Dr. Tina Merritt an allergist who was the special guest speaker at the group’s September get together. The groups meetings are open to the public.

Listeners of the public radio science show Radio Lab this weekend heard a story about alpha-gal syndrome, the lone star tick and how meat-lover Amy Pearl came to find out that she had been bitten by the tick only after getting sick multiple times.

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