The Lone Star Tick gets its name from the roughly Texas-shaped white dot on its back.
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The tick’s bite can trigger a life-threatening reaction to red meat. The allergic reaction is caused by a sugar in meat known as Alpha-gal.
“The symptoms are usually like any typical allergic reaction,” explained Allergist and Immunologist Dr. Kevin Boatright. “Itching, rashing, to full-fledged anaphylacis with difficulty breathing, wheezing. It’s a delayed type of reaction, so when you ingest red meat, that reaction doesn’t occur for potentially three, up to eight hours later.”
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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.