Experts available for commentary on:
- the Lone Star tick
- its active locations
- Alpha-Gal: the sugar molecule that might cause an allergy to meat, spread from a Lone Star tick bite
- Preventing tick bites
Statements Provided by Experts:
Saul Hymes, MD, Director of the Pediatric Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Center at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital:
"At Stony Brook Children's, we are quite familiar with the lone star tick and the alpha-gal allergy. All of eastern Long Island has been a home for the lone star tick for years and we see a number cases a year of ehrlichiosis and the occasional case of tularemia that are both spread by it. The alpha-gal allergy is something that has more recently come to the forefront and we have had a number of patients in whom it is found incidentally or who we have diagnosed with it. The best prevention for all of these tick-borne conditions is to avoid ticks and tick bites in the first place: wear long sleeves and pants, use a repellant containing at least 20% DEET, and perform regular checks of yourselves and your children every time you come in from outside, be it your yard or the woods."
Luis Marcos, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Stony Brook Medicine:
"As warmer summer months are becoming more notorious (possibly related to global warming), the expansion of the lone star tick to new territories, along with its associated diseases, will be becoming more prevalent in those affected regions. Awareness from the medical community of these conditions is needed in order to diagnose them promptly and accurately."
Experts have access to Stony Brook University's ReadyCam television studio system and ISDN line that provides remote access to television networks. www.bit.ly/1O8KY6W.