... Brodersen no longer will be able to have the greasy cheeseburgers she loves. When she cooks a steak or burger for her husband, she makes sure her source of protein — now chicken or fish — doesn’t come in contact with his. She acknowledges the irony of her new diet: Brodersen is the human resources manager at Fremont Beef Co., where she has worked for 32 years…  

 

 

Tick-induced allergy keeps Fremont meatpacking company worker from eating red meat

 

Julie Anderson, Omaha World-Herald (NE) 

Aug 1, 2022

 

Lana Brodersen was just about to crawl into bed in her camper around 11 p.m. June 11 when she broke out in hives from head to toe.

 

Her husband, Brodie Brodersen, drove her the roughly 10 minutes from their campsite west of Fremont to Methodist Fremont Health. She made it through the first set of double doors to the emergency room but collapsed before she could get through the second pair.

 

She later learned that she had gone into anaphylactic shock, a severe allergic reaction that can be deadly if not treated quickly.

 

The hospital emergency room staff questioned her thoroughly: Had she taken any new medications? Eaten anything different?

 

No. And Brodersen, 61, of Fremont, had no known allergies.

 

When she fell, Brodersen hit her head and broke a vertebrae in her neck, so the emergency staff in Fremont sent her to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha for further treatment of that injury.

 

There, her son, his wife and Brodersen’s stepdaughter mentioned an article they had read about alpha-gal syndrome, an allergy to red meat triggered by the bite of a tick. In the U.S., it’s associated with the lone star tick. The tick’s range has expanded in recent years, in part because of climate change, and now includes part of eastern Nebraska and much of Iowa.

 

A key feature of the allergy is a delayed reaction to meat or dairy products, typically two to six hours later, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reactions vary from person to person. Other symptoms can include hives or an itchy rash; nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; a cough; shortness of breath; and difficulty breathing.

 

Brodersen had eaten a hamburger about four hours before she broke out in hives. In early May, she had been bitten by four ticks while out mushroom hunting. Afterward, she developed a rash on her belly. She later learned a rash can be an early sign of the condition. She had also had an eye infection, another symptom cited by alpha-gal allergy sufferers.

 

At her children’s urging, she made an appointment with Dr. Brian Kelly, an allergist and immunologist with Midwest Allergy and Asthma Clinic.

 

A blood test detected antibodies known as immunoglobulin E, or IgE, to the alpha-gal sugar, formally known as galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose. It’s found in most mammals, but not in birds, fish, reptiles or humans. The positive test, and Brodersen’s history of tick bites, Kelly said, confirmed that she has the syndrome...

 

... Brodersen no longer will be able to have the greasy cheeseburgers she loves. When she cooks a steak or burger for her husband, she makes sure her source of protein — now chicken or fish — doesn’t come in contact with his. She acknowledges the irony of her new diet: Brodersen is the human resources manager at Fremont Beef Co., where she has worked for 32 years.

 

Brodersen also carries an EpiPen wherever she goes...

 

more

https://omaha.com/news/local/tick-induced-allergy-keeps-fremont-meatpacking-company-worker-from-eating-red-meat/article_e2558bca-0ea1-11ed-862f-3f583cd1cdae.html