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BMJ Case Rep ; 14(11)2021 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526471


Alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) is a hypersensitivity reaction to mammalian meat that develops after tick bite exposure. AGS was first described in 2009 and testing for the allergy has become available in the last decade. We report the case of a 56-year-old farmer with a history of frequent lone star tick bites who presented with a 7-year history of diffuse urticaria occurring hours after eating red meat. AGS is likely underdiagnosed because of the unusual presentation of the allergy, historic lack of available testing, and deficiency of physician knowledge about the condition. Recognition of AGS is important both to help alleviate symptom burden and to avoid iatrogenesis. Patients with AGS should not receive products containing mammalian products, such as cat-gut suture, porcine-derived heart valves, and bovine-derived vaccines. Patients with AGS may present in a variety of clinical environments and physicians of all kinds should be able to recognise the symptoms.

Food Hypersensitivity , Red Meat , Tick Bites , Urticaria , Animals , Cattle , Food Hypersensitivity/diagnosis , Food Hypersensitivity/etiology , Humans , Meat
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(10): 2715-2717, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486734


Surveys indicate US residents spent more time outdoors in 2020 than in 2019, but fewer tick bite-related emergency department visits and Lyme disease laboratory tests were reported. Despite ongoing exposure, Lyme disease case reporting for 2020 might be artificially reduced due to coronavirus disease-associated changes in healthcare-seeking behavior.

COVID-19 , Lyme Disease , Tick Bites , Humans , Lyme Disease/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
Parasit Vectors ; 14(1): 423, 2021 Aug 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370946


BACKGROUND: Gaining insight into the risk perceptions and the knowledge evolution of the public about emerging or changing health risks is vital for the improvement of health promotion activities. Currently, scientific evidence regarding the attitudes of the Romanian public towards ticks is scanty. This study aimed to identify how the lockdown enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic in Romania impacted the recreational behaviour, risk perceptions, and protective practices of the Romanian population regarding ticks. METHODS: A cross-sectional, nationwide web-based questionnaire was designed and distributed via social media to evaluate if, and how, the COVID-19 lockdown impacted the behaviour of the Romanian public concerning ticks. The survey was available online from 6 May until 15 May 2020, which marked the last day of the travel ban in Romania. The collected data were processed by applying both uni- and multivariate methods. RESULTS: Respondents reported a higher frequency of finding ticks on themselves and their dogs during the lockdown. Bathing/showering and checking the body for ticks were the two most used protective behaviours both before and during the lockdown. Nevertheless, an overall lower usage rate of protective measures was registered during the lockdown. Almost all dog owners used a form of ectoparasite control for their dogs, and only three stopped due to lockdown-associated reasons. Respondent characteristics that were found to be positively associated with risk perceptions were being female and living in peri-urban/suburban/rural environments. CONCLUSIONS: Despite spending less time outdoors during the lockdown, more respondents reported finding ticks on themselves or their dogs. Changes in the preferences for recreational locations, rates of protective practices usage, amount of time spent in specific areas, or tick seasonal activity might have contributed to this outcome. Concerning risk groups, men of all ages, senior citizens, and rural inhabitants should be targeted by the relevant Romanian authorities when promoting local or nationwide tick awareness campaigns.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Tick Infestations/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Animals , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Dog Diseases/epidemiology , Dog Diseases/parasitology , Dog Diseases/prevention & control , Dogs , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Multivariate Analysis , Recreation , Regression Analysis , Risk Factors , Romania/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Tick Bites/epidemiology , Tick Infestations/prevention & control , Time Factors , Young Adult