Allergy warning signs you must never ignore after Jack Fowler 'almost dies' on flight

Jack Fowler attends the launch party celebrating Love Island sra
-Credit: (Image: Dave Benett/Getty Images for ASOS)

Experts have urged Brits to watch out for severe symptoms after Jack Fowler's terrifying nut ordeal.

The 28-year-old Love Island star shared his frightening experience on a recent flight to Dubai on June 18 where he slammed Emirates staff for 'complete negligence'. Despite reportedly warning the flight attendants of his severe nut allergy twice, he was served a cashew curry which immediately 'closed up his throat', leaving him with the 'possibility of dying on the plane'.

Taking to his Instagram, where he boasts 1.1million followers, Jack said: "Once we landed I was rushed into Dubai's airport hospital where I continued treatment. What needs to happen for airlines to take food allergies seriously? Giving a passenger food which they’ve stated TWICE will cause extreme harm is unacceptable."

Following this alarming incident, experts are now urging the public to be aware of the symptoms of such severe allergic reactions. Dr Gareth Nye, a senior lecturer at Chester Medical School, explained to The Mirror: "Anaphylaxis is simply a very strong allergic reaction that can be life-threatening.

"What triggers this is individual to you and it's down to your immune system and genetics to determine whether you are allergic to something or not, and if you are, how severe that reaction is. You can also develop allergies over time due to exposure to common causes like dust or animal hair."

One of the key aspects of Jack's reaction was the startlingly rapid onset of his symptoms. Recalling the incident, he alleged: "Trusting my flight attendant I began to eat the chicken curry. Immediately my throat closed up and breathing became extremely difficult."

This rapid onset is typical for those suffering from anaphylaxis, with symptoms often appearing within minutes or even seconds after exposure.

Dr Nye continued: "The average time of onset is between five and 30 minutes. The most serious of these signs are your throat closing due to swelling which may obstruct your throat and stop you breathing or a severe tongue swelling that can also interfere with or stop your breathing.

"You may also develop shortness of breath, vomiting, or even a loss of consciousness."

According to Dr Nye, this severe reaction occurs when the allergen comes into contact with immune cells in your throat and lungs. These immune cells react as if the allergen is bacteria or a virus, closing the throat to avoid further exposure.

If this goes untreated, a full anaphylactic shock may kill you within just 15 minutes, so it's crucial to act fast when you notice something's wrong.

Dr Nye continued: "Once the allergen is removed from the area, the clear priority is to maintain a good airway and so avoiding over crowding is key. Asking the patient to keep breathing as normally as possible and keep calm can also help.

"Most people with severe allergies carry an 'EpiPen' which contains epinephrine and if the patient is unable to find and use this, people around can do this. Obviously calling an ambulance as early as possible is key."

Chiming into the discussion, allergist 'Dr Rubin' also said that epinephrine is an important first step in resolving these dangerous symptoms. Taking to his TikTok @rubin_allergy_, he explained: "The reason why epinephrine is the first line of treatment is because it works very quickly to help clamp down on blood vessels throughout your body and raise the heart rate to return blood back to the vital organs and help reverse some of that swelling that may occur in areas where it makes it harder to breathe.

"Antihistamines like Benadryl or Zyrtec do not effectively do that, so if you have anaphylaxis, antihistamines are not the first line of choice, it is epinephrine, epinephrine, epinephrine!"

Although administering an EpiPen on yourself or someone else can seem quite daunting, instructions are typically included on the side of the injector. Usually, this involves grasping the EpiPen in your dominant hand and removing the blue safety cap by 'pulling it straight up', according to the product's online guidance.

At the other end of the EpiPen is an orange tip which should be pointed at the outer thigh at a distance of around 10cm. Then, the EpiPen needs jabbing into the outer thigh at a right angle. Once in, it should be held there firmly for three seconds, before removing.

Despite use of an EpiPen, an ambulance should always be called - even if your symptoms seem to be improving. A second anaphylactic reaction - or biphasic reaction - can occur within 12 hours of the first, so it's important to be monitored by medical professionals.

Dr Rubin stressed: "Please share this information widely because you never know if this could help save a life."

While The Mirror approached Emirates for comment, a spokesperson previously told Gloucestershire Live: "We are sorry to hear of Mr Fowler's experience and our teams on ground are providing him with all possible assistance. The safety and health of our customers is taken very seriously.

"While Emirates aims to cater to customers with specific needs by offering a variety of special meals that cover medical, dietary, and religious requirements, we cannot guarantee a nut-free inflight environment. We urge travellers with dietary or other medical requirements to check our website and consult their doctor before travel."

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