Tick-induced allergy group raise awareness of growing problem
PEOPLE on the northern beaches should be more concerned about ticks than sharks, according to a GP.
Dr Stephen Ginsborg from Avalon made the comment while promoting the first Tick-induced Allergies Awareness Week.
“If you live on the northern beaches you are more likely to get a tick bite with dangerous consequences than you are to have a mishap with a shark,” Dr Ginsborg said.
He said people needed to understand the dangers, take precautions and correctly remove ticks if they find one. “It’s about being alert, not alarmed,” he said.
Dr Stephen Ginsborg
He said the peninsula was a hotspot for ticks, which could cause the potentially life-threatening mammalian meat allergy.
Most of those affected cannot eat meat from mammals, including beef, pork, lamb or goat and, if severe, meat-related products such as dairy or lollies.
A report from medical staff at Mona Vale Hospital found that between January 2007 and January 2009 there were 500 cases of tick bites, of which 34 resulted in anaphylaxis.
Dr Ginsborg said since that study the number of tick incidents had increased.
Professor Sheryl van Nunen, of Tick-induced Allergies Research and Awareness (TiARA), was the first to link tick bites with the meat allergy.
MP Rob Stokes, who is keen to raise awareness of ticks.
She said the eastern seaboard of Australia had the highest prevalence of tick-induced allergies and tick anaphylaxis in the world.
Pittwater MP Rob Stokes, who supports TiARA, will be at the launch of the awareness week at NSW Parliament House on Tuesday, to hear from those suffering from the allergy.
“It’s an increasing problem on the northern beaches,” he said.
Go to Tiara for tips on prevention and removal of ticks.