Research shows more than 6 million Americans are allergic to fish and shellfish and self-reported, physician diagnosed and/or 'convincing allergy' to seafood is reported by 2.3 percent of the general population, which is about 6.5 million Americans."
In a recent study researchers found about 2.3 percent of people in the United States report that they are allergic to seafood. Researchers interviewed more than 5,500 households to determine the prevalence of self-reported seafood allergy in the United States. Allergy to some type of seafood was reported for 2.8 percent of adults and less than 1 percent of children younger than age 18.Multiple allergic reactions were reported by 53 percent of people with fish allergies and 57 percent of people with shellfish allergies, and these symptoms are not innocuous. Medical care was sought by 55 percent of those allergic to fish and 40 percent of those allergic to shellfish.
Researchers say the most common offending fish were salmon, tuna and halibut while the most allergy-causing shellfish were shrimp, crab and lobster. Reactions usually appear within two hours after ingestion, inhaling cooking vapors, or handling seafood. However, some reports show reactions can be delayed as long as 24 hours.
Thus researchers caution : "Before you take that first bite of lobster, you might want to make sure you're not allergic to it."