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Itching For Some Red Meat

New freaky reason to check yourself for ticks: they could make you allergic to red meat. The little fellow shown below is responsible.

 

Amblyomma americanum (aka Lone Star Tick)

 

 

This is the Lone Star tick native to the Southeast but it is making it’s way north. It is so named because of the distinctive white dot on it’s back. Fortunately, it has NOT been found to be a carrier of Lyme disease like the deer or blacklegged tick. But here is the weird part: according to an article in the Journal of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, it appears that the saliva of the lone star tick carries a certain antibody that causes the immune system to overreact in the presence of sugars found in red meat causing an allergic reaction including hives all over your trunk and back. That’s right, you take a bite out of your grilled steak after this tick takes a bite out of you and you may be itching for the epinephrine!