Follow-Up: Attacker of Student With Peanut Allergy

October 3, 2008 – 11:15 am

Peanut AllergiesAs previously reported, a student with a peanut allergy was attacked by a fellow, high school student in Wenatchee, Washington.

After several weeks of consideration, it appears local authorities are ready to charge the 19-year-old assailant with assault which could land the man in jail for up to a year as well as incur a $5,000 fine according to the Seattle Times.

According to authorities, the 19-year-old heard in a conversation next to him that a student had a peanut allergy. He then grabbed peanut butter from someone’s sandwich and wiped it on the forehead of the allergic student.

Fortunately, the student did not have an allergic reaction.

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New Rules May Protect Food Allergy Sufferers in Canada

October 1, 2008 – 3:52 pm

As it stands currently in Canada, manufacturers of food products list ingredients that are added to foods, but they do not have to list what may be a component of an ingredient.  Under new rules, this will change.

Food producers will need to list ingredient components especially as it relates to known food allergens according to an article in the Globe and Mail.    For example, whey, a milk protein, added to margarine will need to be listed so that milk allergy sufferers will not be affected as will wheat which affects many allergic to the grain.

In that this big change is now happening in Canada, labels for food products are not quite at the required level of detail, but the article makes several important suggestions about buying food in the interim:

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Ragweed Allergies Being Felt in Texas

September 30, 2008 – 10:28 pm

Ragweed Allergies in TexasThe ragweed is in full bloom in north Texas and so are the ragweed allergies reports CBS11-TV in Dallas.

With affects from ragweed allergies not expected to dissipate until the first frost, area residents are already starting to look for relief including Dana Buckman who told CBS, “I’ve changed medication and changed the frequency of how often I take it.”

Dr. Rene Leon said that in addition to medications, diet can be an important weapon in fighting symptoms of a ragweed allergy. Fruits including bananas, cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew melons can cause problems during the high allergy season according to Dr. Leon.

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2008-2009 Flu Season and Egg Allergy

September 24, 2008 – 11:10 pm

Egg Allergy and 2008-2009 Flu VaccineIt’s getting to be that time of year again.  Flu season is on its way which means it may be time for certain high risk groups to get their annual flu shot.

According to the U.S. News and World Report today, U.S. health officials are advising – in addition to adults – that all children get the vaccine between the ages of six month and 18 years of age unless they have an egg allergy.  This year, health officials feel that they have a particularly effective vaccine which will cover the flu strains that are circulating.

Regarding the egg allergy, according to, the influenza vaccine is “made using chicken egg or related substances. In theory, if one is allergic to eggs, then one may be allergic to egg-based vaccines.”

Dr. Daniel B. Jernigan, deputy director of the CDC’s Influenza Division, said to members of the press at a teleconference Wednesday, “We are optimistic that this year’s vaccine will be on target in protecting against the flu.”

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Mysterious Skin Allergy Affects French Armchair Buyers

September 17, 2008 – 10:23 am

Eczema or DermatitisEven sitting down in a chair can potentially cause an allergy as buyers of armchairs made in China found out.

Agence-France Press is reporting that the Chinese manufacturer of the affected armchairs has seen numerous complaints directed toward a retailer, Conforama, in France where consumers bought the chairs. Buyers are complaining that they are having a possible skin allergy which manifests itself as a bad case of eczema (also known as “dermatitis” according to Wikipedia).

According to the French paper, Le Parisien, about a dozen people have been hospitalized thus far, there have been 400 customers seeking damages and 800 people want a refund.

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Milk Allergy Warning: Ralston Foods Recalling Oatmeal

September 16, 2008 – 5:00 pm

Milk Allergy Ralston Oatmeal RecallLate yesterday, Ralston Foods announced the recall of Western Family Variety Pack Instant Oatmeal cereal bearing the “Best If Used By” Date Code of “DEC0409N” (found on the box top).

The culprit was the use of milk products in several cartons. For those with a milk allergy, eating the product could cause allergy-related symptoms including a serious reaction such as anaphylaxis.

The “fruit and cream” instant oatmeal packets in the variety pack were found to have the milk products. According to the company, the Food and Drug Administration has been informed about the recall and the details regarding potential allergens.

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Worry Free Dinners Caters To Food Allergy Sufferers

September 16, 2008 – 2:56 pm

Worry Free Diners and Food AllergyFood allergy sufferers in New York City have inspired a series of meals that can give anyone with a peanut allergy – or sensitivity to other common allergens such as milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, gluten and soy – some peace of mind.

Worry Free Dinners lastest meal at Blue Smoke, a popular restaurant in New York City, is featured by CNN this week as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers current food ingredient labels. Since 2006, food processors have been required to put a list of all ingredients, but experts think they should go even further.

Worry Free Dinners is the answer to allergy sufferers who have lived in fear of an allergy-provoking ingredient whenever they go out. In this new dinner format, there’s little need to pester servers and chefs about every last ingredient.

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Wine Allergy or Sulfite Sensitivity? Wine Drinkers Want to Know

September 15, 2008 – 4:16 pm

Wine AllergyIf you’ve ever had a glass of wine and found yourself sneezing or with a runny nose, you are not alone according to Lauren Cox of ABC News Medical Unit.

In her article, Cox talks with experts and sufferers who offer up ideas on what could be causing the symptoms of something that looks like a wine allergy.

Dr. Brian Vickery, from the Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at Duke University in Durham, N.C., suggests that it’s something in the grape: “There are a handful of people reported in the medical literature who were allergic to something in the grape.”

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Bee Sting Allergy Victim Helped by Police

September 13, 2008 – 7:08 pm

Anaphylactic Shock for a Bee Sting AllergyIn Monroe, New York, a bee sting allergy victim was saved by police after a bee stung the victim and he went into anaphylactic shock.

According to the local paper, Photo News, the victim was riding his bike when he was stung and was able to continue to ride his bike to the village’s police station. In the the lobby, he told the dispatcher about this situation who then alerted police. By the time police arrived back at the station, the allergy sufferer was experiencing severely distressed breathing due to the bee sting.

Officers used their “Epi-pen” to assist the man which gives an injection of epinephrine which fights the effects of anaphylactic shock. Shortly thereafter, an ambulance arrived to take the bicycling allergy victim to the hospital where he was later released.

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2008 Ragweed Allergy Season Brings High Pollen Count

September 12, 2008 – 11:23 pm

Ragweed Allergy
It’s only early September but reports are coming in that the 2008 ragweed allergy season is going to be a tough one for allergy surferrers.

In Boston, WBZ‘s Dr. Mallika Marshall reports that Boston-area residents are wondering why allergies are affecting them even when they have not been affected all year. Marshall suggests that a higher-than-usual ragweed, pollen count due to summer rains that have kept pollen subdued thus far.

But, additional rains have also meant that this ragweed season has yielded a bountiful bumper crop of ragweed that combines with the finally-unleashed pollens to infiltrate and irritate eyes, noses and lungs of ragweed allergy sufferers.

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Sun Allergy Inhibits Child’s Life in Georgia

September 11, 2008 – 9:51 pm

Sun AllergyFrom northwest Georgia comes the story of a young girl who has been found to have a rare sun allergy.

Her family is both saddened, at times, but relieved reports the Cedartown Standard – saddened that their daughter can’t play outside like her brother or other kids – but, relieved that they finally know what it is when Dr. Leslie Lawless at Emory Hospital in Atlanta finally examined her.

Jodie Brock, age 7, has had to live much of her life away from the sun.

Even sunlight that reaches her through a window can be problematic and cause her to have an allergic reaction according to the report.

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Metal Allergy Tests Need Plenty of Lead Time

September 11, 2008 – 9:20 pm

Metal AllergyFor patients who are about to have prosthetic devices or pacemakers placed within their bodies, it’s important that patients are tested far in advance of any medical surgery so that any metal allergy reaction can be detected: so says a researchers report in the Archives of Dermatology this past August.

For some patients, a metal allergy can be detected before any test due to the wearing of certain types of jewelry.

Researcher Dr. Mark D. P. Davis from the Mayo Clinic told Reuters Health, that for most allergies which often use patch testing, 3-5 days is enough to determine if any allergens may cause irritation. But, for metal allergies, Dr. Davis recommends 7-10 days.

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Linkage: Allergy Blogs for Wednesday

September 10, 2008 – 4:10 pm

Links PhotoThis is a round-up of recent blog posts from allergy blogs around the Web.

Allergic Girl points to an ABC News article about the ongoing anxiety caused by allergies – for the sufferers and, in the case of food allergies, for the afflicted child and the worrying parent.

Advice from Milk Allergy Mom includes ideas on lining up a pediatrician for a child as well as meeting with a dietician.

An Amazon store has been created by “Peanut Allergy Kid” with peanut allergy sufferers in mind.

Mrs. Wiacek from Dearborn Public Schools asks parents
to not include cantelope in their child’s lunch due to a cantelope allergy.

Horses get allergies, too, and allergy tests can be expensive according to the forums on Horsetopia.

Debra Legg’s Kids & Allergies blog covers Canada’s efforts to increase the details on food labels so that allergy sufferers don’t get taken by surprise.

Bully May Be Charged in Peanut Allergy Incident

September 9, 2008 – 9:00 pm

Peanut AllergiesIn Wenatchee, Washington, a 19-year-old who stuck his finger in peanut butter and then spread it across the forehead of a student with a peanut allergy may be charged by police according to The Wenatchee World Online.

Police Sgt. Cherie Smith told the paper that, fortunately, the allergic student did not have a reaction. Prior to the incident there had allegedly been discussion regarding the peanut allergy and that the attacking male knew what he was doing.

In a worst case scenario according to Wikipedia, a peanut allergy can result in anaphylaxis which is a condition requiring immediate medical attention and treatment with epinephrine. Also, The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that peanut allergies are more often than not the cause of food-related death

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Latex Allergy and Balloons Are Dangerous for UK Woman

September 9, 2008 – 4:25 pm

Latex AllergyFor Rachel Johnson, an occupational therapist at a UK hospital, an innocuous encounter with balloons led to a trip to the emergency room according to Evening News 24 in the UK.

Her wheezing and runny nose and eyes made it necessary for a shot of anti-histamine. According to the article, one-percent of the population develops a latex allergy during the course of their lifetime.

Mrs. Johnson told Evening News 24: “It is a life-threatening condition and really quite scary. The first time it happened I was lucky because I was at the hospital so I could get immediate help.”

Though much of the public is unaware of the sensitivity that certain people have for latex, the hospital in which Mrs. Johnson works had already banned balloons within hospital grounds as well as the use of latex gloves.

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Nasal Allergy Relief Said To Arrive With New Drug

September 8, 2008 – 4:00 pm

A new gel that people can apply to their nose is said to relieve common symptoms associated with nasal allergies according to The Packet Online.

Invented by a Hillsborough, New Jersey, resident named Ashok Wahi who came up with the idea when he needed to ease the nasal allergies that his daughter was suffering due to their family’s cat.

Mr. Wahi postulated that an electrostatic field could protect the nose and prevent such symptoms as watery eyes and a runny nose caused by pet dander, mold spores and other allergens floating in the air.

His solution resulted in the Chloraseptic Allergen Block and Little Allergies Allergen Bloc product line from Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc.

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Canine Allergy Breeds Invention in Oregon

September 8, 2008 – 3:30 pm

Dog AllergiesA top coat for your dog? That’s what the Lotz family in Oregon created when they needed a solution to keep dog hair in check. It turned out that they created a way to control canine allergies, too.

According to Newhouse News Service, the family noticed that their toddler son had a mouthful of dog hair and it wasn’t from trying to eat the dog but the natural shedding of their two dog’s breed – German Shepherd.

To manage the shedding, they drew on their experience with show horses and created dog “clothing” made of Lycra which effectively slips over the dog like a top coat and is available antimicrobial and hypo- allergenic material. Their company, K9 Top Coat, was born which now has over 10 products.

Part of the success was due, inadvertently, to dog owner’s need for a solution to dog allergies. Lorni Jarmie told Newhouse News Service that her Weimaraner had “raw” feet from his encounters with their new home’s shrubs and plants which included sage, juniper, fescue grass and yarrow. K9 Top Coat was just the solution she needed even though her dog may be a bit reluctant to wear it.

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Penicillin Allergy Surprises UK Mayor

September 7, 2008 – 7:44 pm

Penicillin Allergy VictimThe mayor of the UK town of Ringwood, Brian Terry, had an unfortunate surprise during a recent surgical procedure according to the Daily Echo. Medical attendants gave Terry penicillin even though he is allergic to it – Terry says he never told them about it thinking that doctor’s notes would suffice.

Terry was given the antibiotics prior to an examination for prostate cancer which occurred on a Monday. He didn’t think to ask what it was that he was taking – ciprofloxacin and penicillin-based augmentin.

According to the National Institute of Health, penicillin allergies can be detected through what is termed a simple “skin test”.

By the Friday after the exam, Terry learned he was clear of cancer but the penicillin allergy‘s effects had begun to set in.

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Bakery for Milk Allergy Sufferers in Lebanon County

September 7, 2008 – 3:46 pm

Milk Allergy BakeryIt’s called Incredible Edibles and according to the Lebanon Daily News it’s a new bakery that is ready to satisfy the sweet tooth of those with milk allergies.

Traditionally, bakery products often contain milk products which make baked goods off-limits for milk allergy sufferers. Jil Desso and Julie Georgelis, whose son – 7-year-old Nicholas Georgelis – is allergic to dairy products, started the home baking business near Palmyra, PA, in an effort to make sure that they didn’t have to say “no” to young Nicholas every time he went out and saw something sweet.

Using all-natural and organic ingredients, Julie Georgelis has been experimenting with different recipes and uses soy milk, soy shortening and soy butter. Soy-free or gluten-free good can be made on request.

“Making gluten-free items “is one of our biggest challenges,” Desso told the Lebanon News Daily, “because that involves changes in texture and taste.”

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Bee Sting Allergy Therapy That’s Safe Is Possible Say Doctors

September 5, 2008 – 8:43 pm

Bee Sting Allergy TherapyIn Italy, an experimental treatment meant to help those with a severe bee sting allergy is being tested and involves what is known as “under-tongue” therapy.

To date, as Dr. Giovanni Passalacqua told Reuters, injection immunotherapy has been the primary way to treat anyone with a severe reaction to a bee sting allergy but now there’s a new option: “Our research opens a new possible application of sublingual immunotherapy, which was never proposed for hymenoptera allergy.”

Injection immunotherapy can be dangerous according to Dr. Passalacqua as the patient is giving increasing numbers of doses of bee venom in hopes of building tolerance. This is also very risky and may result in the patient having a severe allergic reaction.

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