Tick allergy

Mum of two Janelle Williams is understandably emotional 3 years ago she came frighteningly close to dying. At the time Janelle didn't know what was happening, but her body was going into anaphylactic shock. She'd developed an allergy to meat and dairy, triggered by the tick bite.

A shot of adrenaline saved her life, but it was a moment that would also change her life. "it's changed our whole life we don't have any dairy products in the house Remy can actually eat dairy products but I can't and I'm super allergic and I find that if it's in the house or a little bit spills or it gets on the chopping board any cheese or yoghurt or milk then I get quite ill so we've chosen as a family not to have that in the house."

Even though the whole family have been bitten by ticks it was only Janelle and her 11 year old daughter Remy who were left with severe life threatening allergies. "When I get an allergic reaction I can get really bad headaches and very tired I get really tired I can vomit I really don't feel very well at all."

There is little known about the red meat tick allergy, its believed its caused by sugar in a protein, what we do know is it's not nearly as common as peanut allergies which are on the rise.

Bradford Beencke's peanut and dairy allergies are so severe. The tiniest trace can trigger a deadly reaction. He's only six but he's already had three anaphylactic attacks.an epipen carried by his mother, Leonie giddy, saved his life.

Every year 30,000 children are diagnosed with a food allergy. Boys in particular are more prone to peanut allergies. Figures from the bureau of statistics show around 71,000 boys aged 2 to 18 have an allergy or intolerance to peanuts, compared to 39,000 girls.

Professor Brad Frankum is a leading allergy specialist. "I don't think it can be explained on environment or on diet because I think there is no reason to think boys would eat peanut butter more than girls would it just doesn't make sense so I think we to look at the genetic basis of that to try and understand it a bit better."

Doctors are baffled by the increase in food allergies - until the 1990s cases were still relatively rare - now there are waiting lists up to 18 months long to see a specialist -- and still no-one knows what actually causes them.

Experts say more research is desperately needed. Otherwise Australia could be on the verge of an allergy epidemic.