Lone Star Tick Turns Victims into Vegetarians
If you’re a lover of meat and don’t wish to voluntarily turn vegetarian, then you may want to watch out for this little pest. The Lone Star tick has been known to be culprit when it comes to a meat allergy that seems to appear from nowhere.
The Lone Star tick is “more of an annoyance than an important disease vector,” said Tom Mather, director of the University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Resource Center.
When it comes to dangerous illnesses, as opposed to allergies, the Lone Star can transmit a Lyme-like disease called human ehrlichiosis, but that strikes only three people out of a million, and is fatal only one percent of the time, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The tick does not transmit Lyme.
This type of tick has slowly increased in popularity in areas of New Jersey, so residents are being encouraged to get their tick control in order.
You know that ticks can carry Lyme disease and maybe even the Powassan virus, but there’s a relatively new and rare allergy to red meat that can be brought on by tick bites.
It’s called alpha gal allergy, which is an allergy to mammalian meat, like beef, pork and sheep. The disease is carried by the Lone Star tick.
It’s not just this species of tick we need to be wary of. If we spend time outdoors then all of us are vulnerable to tick bites, and with that, the risk of other diseases such as Lyme and Powassan. Be vigilant, check for ticks at all times and make sure you know how to remove one if you find one about your person or pet.