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Study highlights first report of severe allergic response to orange


ATLANTA, GA (November 7, 2014) – Many people don’t realize allergies and asthma go hand-in-hand, and about 90 percent of kids with asthma also have allergies. Even more important, when asthma is undiagnosed or poorly controlled, children are at risk for suffering difficult-to-treat allergic reactions to food.


According to a study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting, a two and-a-half year-old girl in Pennsylvania suffered a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to eating an orange – the first time such a case has been reported in a toddler.


“She ate an orange, and within a few minutes had developed severe anaphylaxis,” said allergist and ACAAI member Sigrid DaVeiga, MD, study author. “Her lips and tongue swelled, she broke out in hives and couldn’t breathe well. Her parents immediately got her to an emergency room, and she was flown by helicopter to a pediatric intensive care unit.”


Following treatment and a 48-hour hospital stay, the girl recovered and was able to go home. Upon examination of her medical history, doctors discovered that she had previously had orange juice with no reaction, but more importantly, that she had undiagnosed asthma. Later testing by allergists found that she was allergic to both orange and peach.


“Several recommendations were made following the allergic reaction, said allergist and ACAAI member Sayantani Sindher, MD, study author. “She was advised to avoid orange and peach, and also told to start asthma therapy, both of which will keep future allergic reactions under control.”


According to ACAAI, it’s very rare for anyone to have a severe allergic reaction to an orange. It’s more common for people who suffer from hay fever to sometimes suffer from oral allergy syndrome – an itchy mouth or scratchy throat after eating certain raw fruits or vegetables and some tree nuts. The response is caused by cross-reacting allergens found in both pollen, and the fruits and vegetables.


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The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit Join us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.



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My son never was able to peel an orange without an allergic reaction, though he could eat it.  Years later he can now peel an orange with no problems.   He still can't have citrus rind in foods though.  He use to react to banana peels but could eat the banana.  I wonder if it had anything to do with what sprays they use in the fields.  I also find that a lot of orange juice is made on shared equipment with dairy.  Sending hugs your way.


This is by far not the first case of a person (toddler) have an anaphylactic reaction to oranges (or citrus). My child developed a severe allergic reaction to oranges (and other citrus) after previously not reacting to citrus and has since outgrown it. I also know several other families with ongoing citrus allergies. It think the prevalence of this is much higher than the author is aware of or the study concluded.

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