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Food allergies reported by a ‘high’ rate of U.S. adults

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Food allergies are often considered a childhood condition, but at least 10 per cent of adults in the U.S. also have them, according to a new study.

Many researchers have looked at how common food allergy is among kids, but less is known about its prevalence and severity among grown-ups.

To find out how many adults in the U.S. are allergic to at least one food, Dr. Ruchi Gupta, a professor of pediatrics at Lurie Children’s Hospital Chicago, and her team combined nationally representative surveys from more than 40,000 adults.

The results? Nearly 11 per cent or more than 26 million adults, when the results are projected onto the entire U.S. population, reported the kinds of severe symptoms that are consistent with a food allergy, the team reported in Friday’s issue of JAMA Network Open.

“That number is high,” Gupta said. “It’s actually higher than what we even see in kids, which is about eight per cent.”

Another major finding was how many people developed allergies as adults. Among those who were determined to have a food allergy, 48 per cent reported developing at least one of their allergies in adulthood.

“I think that’s also really important because oftentimes we don’t think of food allergies as something you can develop new in adulthood,” said Gupta, who is also with Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

The study is important, said Dr. William Reisacher, director of allergy services at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. He was not involved in the research.

“There was definitely a need for a study like this. The results are very compelling. It was thought that maybe four to five per cent of adults had food allergies. This is double that.”

Dr. Ruchi Gupta, a pediatric allergist in Chicago, says the proportion of adults with allergies is ‘higher than what we even see in kids, which is about eight per cent.’ (Skype/CBC)

In the study, the most common foods causing allergies in these adults were:

  • Shellfish such as shrimp, crab and lobster.
  • Milk.
  • Peanuts.
  • Tree nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts and cashews
  • Fin fish like tuna, salmon and cod.

Reisacher said the finding “makes you wonder what is happening in adults causing all these allergies.”

Gupta speculated on environmental changes. “A couple of things that are theories right now but are somewhat related are: did anything happen around the time that they developed the allergy environmentally, so did they move? Did they have a change of location? Did they have any hormonal changes?”

Unnecessary avoidance of foods

The researchers also found that while 10 per cent of adults were deemed to have serious food allergies, nearly 19 per cent thought they did.

“They think they have an allergy, but it’s never confirmed,” said Toronto allergist Dr. Gordon Sussman, who was not involved in the U.S. study. “They avoid foods. But that also affects the quality of life. It also affects the economics because they get … epinephrine autoinjectors and they go to the emergency room.”

It was thought that maybe four to five per cent of adults had food allergies. This is double that.— Dr. William Reisacher

The researchers defined someone as having a food allergy if they had at least one convincing food allergy symptom such as severe reactions involving the skin, gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular or respiratory tract.

Confusing food reactions

Food intolerances, including celiac disease or lactose intolerance, can also be mistaken for food allergy.

“Oral allergy syndrome” is confusing, Gupta said, because the person eats a food and may experience tingling in the mouth or irritation around the lips. But it’s actually a reaction to pollen, rather than an allergic protein, in the food.

Fewer than one-quarter of adults with a food allergy said they have a prescription for epinephrine. (Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press/Associated Press)

Sussman and Gupta said the findings highlight why people need to seek medical advice for diagnosis and a treatment plan.

In the study, nearly 48 per cent of those with food allergies said they had received a diagnosis from a physician. About 38 per cent reported they had been to the emergency department for a life-threatening reaction.

Fewer than one-quarter, 24 per cent, said they had a prescription for epinephrine to be used in case of a severe reaction.

Michelle O’Neill, 43, of Barrie, Ont., now carries an epinephrine injector. She’d eaten shrimp, lobster and crab for years. Then at age 26, she discovered those foods could be deadly for her.

O’Neill was working in a restaurant when some seafood cocktail dripped onto her wrist. The next time she had seafood, she suffered a severe reaction.

“I ate one and ended up in full anaphylaxis in the hospital,” O’Neill recalled.

For the study, the survey was administered by phone and internet from Oct. 9, 2015 to Sept. 18, 2016. Survey respondents received $5 each.

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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

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(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

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(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

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In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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