A Bite From This Tick Makes People Allergic to Red Meat
Have you heard of the Lone Star Tick? If you haven't, be prepared to meet a dangerous foe.
In the picture above, the Lone Star Tick is the one to the left with the white mark. According to an article from Business Insider, the Lone Star Tick is like no other.
Like other ticks, cats and dogs can be bitten as well as humans. But this tick just doesn't transfer disease like other ticks found in the world. One bite from this tick could cause you to become allergic to red meat, and it would take hours for you to even figure it out.
The Lone Star Tick, named that because of the shape of a white mark on the female tick, can cause someone to become allergic to just a small amount of meat. According to Business Insider, unlike other food allergies, symptoms may not show up for hours:
'The weird thing about [this reaction] is it can occur within three to 10 or 12 hours, so patients have no idea what prompted their allergic reactions,' said Ronald Saff, an allergist in Tallahassee, Florida, and an assistant clinical professor at the Florida State University College of Medicine.
The symptoms are often severe — hives and shortness of breath are common, and a dangerous anaphylactic reaction is possible. But they seem to appear out of the blue, often the night after eating a burger or steak.
'They're sleeping, and they have no idea what they could be allergic to because the symptoms occurred so many hours after going to bed,' Saff said.
The ticks are spreading to new locations, where they're making people allergic to even a single bite of meat. But since this allergy is still relatively new and not well-known, especially outside the Southeast, it's hard to say exactly how common it is.
Not much is known about the Lone Star Tick or how long symptoms may last -- or even if every tick can cause someone to become allergic to red meat. Scientists do know that the Lone Star Tick has been spreading though over the last 20-30 years.
For those living in West Texas, a map provided by Business Insider doesn't show that the tick has made it to our portion of the state, but that might just be a matter of time.
In any case, be sure to protect yourself and your pets from the Lone Star Tick along with all other ticks that are out there just waiting to bite and feed.