Cicadas Are Land Shrimp and Other Allergy Cross-Reactions You Should Be Aware Of

As the Brood X cicada explosion continues on the east coast, the FDA has issued a warning that if you’re allergic to shellfish, you may not want to try those cicada recipes that are popular. This isn’t the only unexpected allergy cross-reaction, so here are a few more to look out for if you have allergies.

But first, a little background: these cross-reactions happen because when your body learns to attack one particular element (like a protein found in shellfish), it can also attack similar allergens found elsewhere (like a protein found in cicadas ). Technically, cicadas don’t have much to do with shrimp – if there are taxonomists reading this, put your knives – but there are enough similarities between their proteins and your immune system can get confused.

Remember, if you have a serious allergy or other health problem, talk to your allergist about whether you need to avoid certain types of foods or take extra precautions.

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