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Top Allergist and Immunologist: "Get Vaccinated!"

Dr. James Baker, MD

As corona virus vaccines start becoming more available, getting everyone vaccinated is of vital importance. In our interview with Dr. James Baker, the former CEO and CMO of Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), Dr. Baker addresses many concerns within the allergy community. Reporter Kristen Steward and the doctor discuss the effectiveness, safety AND necessity of everyone being vaccinated.
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Allergies come in all shapes and sizes ...

Just like allergy sufferers. And they are on the rise. For many people allergies can range from sniffling and sneezing to skin rashes to gastrointestinal issues. A certain percentage, however, have more than these uncomfortable symptoms to deal with. Anaphylaxis, a serious life-threatening reaction, causes approximately 1,500 deaths a year in the United States alone. Clearly, allergies are nothing to sneeze at!

Articles for Advocacy

We know any attack of anaphylaxis can might fatal. We also know that promptly administering epinephrine saves lives. A recent study found over 20% of correctly diagnosed anaphylaxis incidents in children weren’t treated with epinephrine. Why? Dr Wes Sublett, Research Director of the Family Allergy & Asthma Research Institute, provides some of the answers in the article below.

Epinephrine Not Being Used Often Enough for Anaphylaxis in Children

Rosie-the-Riviter holding AuviQ-ChildDose package

By Dave Bloom

We know that prompt administration of epinephrine as soon as anaphylaxis is suspected leads to better outcomes, but are we using it often enough when our kids react? (Hint: No, we’re not.)

“Predictors for epinephrine undertreatment have been poorly studied,” write Neta Cohen, MD, of the division of pediatric emergency medicine at the University of Toronto, and colleagues.

So Cohen and colleagues reviewed the charts of 368 children (median age, 5.4 years) who presented with anaphylaxis-like symptoms to a busy tertiary care facility emergency department (ED) in Toronto.

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If you or a loved one has a food allergy, you know that dining out can be very challenging. From the listing of possible allergens to details on food preparation, accurate information can be hard to come by. It can be frustrating and possibly lethal, even though restaurants are the second most common location for a food allergy reaction, with over a quarter of those reactions requiring epinephrine. While laws vary from state to state, there is no federal legislation requiring restaurants to inform customers about allergens or to mandate training of restaurant staff.

Allergic Reactions in Restaurants Are Common, Yet Training Lags

A woman and friend in a restaurant with food

By Jenifer Goodwin
January 17, 2021

Restaurants are the second most common location for food allergy reactions after the home, a new study finds, and more than one in four of those reactions are severe enough to require epinephrine.

Yet there remains no federal legislation requiring restaurants to inform customers about allergens in their food, or to train food preparers about food allergies and avoiding cross-contact. Although a few states have enacted their own regulations requiring food allergy safety training, these laws are not equally robust from state to state.

Allergist Dr. Thomas Casale, a co-author of the study, says the findings underscore the need to require food allergy training for staff, and for restaurants to disclose allergens on menus.

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A new study being presented at the 2021 AAAAI Virtual Annual Meeting, taking place February 26 – March 1, examines the clinical and immunologic features of patients who have sensitivity to sunflower seeds.

New Study Examines Allergic Reactions to Sunflowers

Picture of Sunflower Seeds

February 08, 2021

A new case series looking at patients who have positive sunflower seed-specific IgE will be introduced during the 2021 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) Virtual Annual Meeting. While the abstract of this research was included in an online supplement to The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology that was published February 1, the full poster (#299) will be presented at the 2021 AAAAI Virtual Annual Meeting.

The retrospective case series examined 117 adult patients sensitive to sunflower seeds. These patients underwent skin tests and detection of specific IgE. At times, oral food challenges were also recommended and performed. A total of 28 patients were recognized to have a clinical allergy to sunflower seed, amounting to 24% of those included in the study. Most of those also had a history of atopic disease and reactions to nuts and Rosaceae fruit. Fourteen patients (50%) suffered anaphylaxis, with all of those reactions graded as moderate save one. Of those suffering from anaphylaxis, 71% needed to go to the emergency department.

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