8*Feb 16, 9:06 am ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Here's a tale to dampen romantic passions: sometimes a kiss is not just a kiss, if you have food allergies.
A 20-year-old woman with shellfish allergies went into severe anaphylactic shock after kissing her boyfriend, who had just eaten a few shrimp, doctors reported on Friday.
"It is important to warn susceptible patients that food does not actually have to be eaten to trigger an allergic reaction," Dr. David Steensma of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said in a statement.
"Touching the offending food and kissing or touching someone who has recently eaten the food can be enough to cause a major reaction."
Writing in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Steensma and colleagues reported that the woman had a severe reaction -- her throat swelled up and she had cramps and nausea. A quick trip to the emergency room saved her life.
Both the woman and her boyfriend worked at a seafood restaurant, and Steensma said the patient may have sensitized herself to the shellfish by repeatedly touching it.