New Allergy Alert: Pork-Cat Syndrome

It's not what you think.

Do pretty kitties make you itch and sneeze? Yeah? How about bacon? The Web world is a-Twitter with news that a rare double allergy out of Europe has also been found in the United States. Known as “pork-cat syndrome,” the condition is believed to be a reaction to a protein found in non-primate animals (a category that includes both felines and porcines, reasonably enough).

Most common in young women, the double allergy is the subject of a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Sufferers, who test positive for both cat and pig antibodies in their blood, had symptoms ranging from itchy mouth (after exposure to the pork, hopefully, rather than the cat), hives, and life-threatening anaphylaxis. A long-term study found that “very prolonged avoidance of the offending foods” was required to thwart the cross-allergic reaction. Gee, and just when Marcie Turney’s putting bacon in her chocolates!