Lone Star Tick bite can cause red meat allergy - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Lone Star Tick bite can cause red meat allergy

The Lone Star Tick (Source: CNN) The Lone Star Tick (Source: CNN)
Montgomery, AL (CNN) -

Many people are allergic to peanuts or shellfish, but did you know you can be allergic to red meat?

You can develop that allergy from a tick bite. It may seem strange but it's true, a specific kind of tick bite can make you allergic to red meat.

The Lone Star Tick gets its name from the roughly Texas-shaped white dot on its back. The tick was once found only in the Eastern and Southeastern U.S., but it has begun showing up in places like Missouri, Minnesota, and even Long Island.

The tick's bite can trigger a life-threatening reaction to red meat.

Actually, the allergic reaction is caused by a sugar in meat known as Alpha-gal. Dr. Kevin Boatright, an Allergist-Immunologist, says, "The symptoms are usually like any typical allergic reaction: itching, rashing, to full-fledged anaphylaxis with difficulty breathing, wheezing."

The reaction is delayed, so sometimes sufferers have no idea what prompted their reaction.

Dr. Boatright adds, "It's a delayed type of reaction. So when you ingest a red meat, that reaction doesn't occur for potentially, three, up to eight hours later."

There's no known cure for the Alpha-gal allergy. The only course of action for those who suffer from it is cutting red meat out of their diet.

To prevent tick bites, the CDC recommends using an insect repellent that contains 20-percent or more Deet.

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