Lone star tick bite could cause allergy to red meat - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Lone star tick bite could cause allergy to red meat

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A lone star tick. Source: File video A lone star tick. Source: File video
The lone star tick can be found in the yellow areas of the U.S. Source: CDC The lone star tick can be found in the yellow areas of the U.S. Source: CDC
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

If you enjoy a good steak, listen up! A certain type of tick could make you develop a red meat allergy.

"That you could get a red beef allergy from a tick bite, yeah that's very surprising," said Damian Wall, a father who's son was just recently bitten by a tick.

"Then he got a severe fever. So we took him down to the hospital," said Wall. "(They) said he was bitten by one of the lone star ticks."

According to a researcher at Mississippi State University the lone star tick carries a certain sugar in it, that is also present in red meat. Once you're bitten, you become sensitized to that sugar. So the next time you bite into something like a steak or hamburger, it could make your body release histamines and cause an allergic reaction.

"My first reaction was that I hope he didn't develop the red meat allergy, because they like hamburgers," said Wall.

Luckily, the father tells us since Kai was bitten he hasn't had any reactions after eating red meat.

"They gave him some antibiotics. Cleared right up," said Wall.

In fact when we bumped into the family at Railroad Park, Kai was showing off his moves on his bike. He's no worse for the wear since his trip to the ER.

"It took a long time but I watched a lot of fun stuff in the hospital," said Kai Wall.

Researchers say the majority of people bitten by lone star ticks don't develop the allergy.

They say the best prevention, is avoid tick bites. It's suggested you wear tall boots and long pants when hiking in wooded areas. Also look for repellants that contain permethrin.

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