CDC data reveals that an aggressive tick may be the culprit in the increased instances of alpha-gal syndrome, or red-meat allergy, a potentially life-threatening condition that affects up to 450,000 people in the U.S. Carried by the lone star tick, those with red-meat allergy have reactions to meat such as beef, pork, and lamb. The reactions range from hives and rash to difficulty breathing and drops in blood pressure.
Though presently found primarily in the eastern and southern U.S., the lone star tick is on the move. Areas of the country with historically low prevalence rates are now experiencing infestations of all parasites, causing vector-borne diseases to emerge across the country.
The U.S. Companion Animal Parasite Control Council tracks and forecasts pests and diseases, and its research indicates prevalence rates have risen each of the past five years, up 20% from 2013 levels.
Parasite control is a cornerstone of responsible pet ownership. Nearly all pets are at risk of developing parasites, even those that live inside. In fact, one out of every four illnesses that move between animals and humans is linked to parasites that affect pets.
One of the most effective approaches to controlling parasites is to prevent animals from contracting them. Your veterinarian can help you stay on top of evolving treatments to ensure your pets and your family remain comfortable and safe.