Having grown up in Missouri and spending a lot of time playing in the woods, I've had my share of ticks as you probably have, too. There's new reason for concern about these nuisance pests as the state is suddenly warning about a potentially life-threatening tick bite that you should know about.

This brand new advisory from the Missouri Department of Health was just issued this week and it addresses a little-known syndrome that happens in Missouri more often than you think. The condition is called Alpha-gal Syndrome and it's caused by a single bite from a lone star tick. The state of Missouri says this syndrome can bring about a "serious and potentially life-threatening allergic condition".

If you look at the CDC map of cases of this syndrome, you'll see that Missouri is one of the most frequent places where it happens.


The bulletin from the Missouri Department of Health says the severity of symptoms can and does vary from person to person, but is most likely to become severe with those who have a natural allergy.

The CDC lists these symptoms for Alpha-gal Syndrome including:

  • Hives or itchy rash
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Severe stomach pain
    Heartburn or indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Swelling of the lips, throat, tongue, or eye lids
  • Dizziness or faintness

Tick bites in Missouri are bad enough when they're just normal insect bites. The fact that a potentially fatal allergic reaction is possible in some cases is definitely cause for concern.

Northern Lights Over Missouri on May 10, 2024

Gallery Credit: Doc Holliday, Townsquare Media

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