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Meat Lovers Beware: Bites from the Lone Star Tick are on the Rise

The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention recently warned that bites from fleas, ticks, and mosquitos have tripled over the past decade.

As one might expect, the number of diseases caused by the pests saw an increase too.

The latest evidence is reported by NPR, revealing the rise of red meat allergies caused by the Lone Star tick.

Found in the eastern and southern U.S., the Lone Star tick is known to transmit several diseases including an allergic reaction associated with the consumption of red meat, according to the CDC.

Patients who eat red meat after being bitten report itching, swelling, hives and wheezing.

Dr. Scott Commins, an allergist and researcher at the University of North Carolina, told NPR the number of cases of ticks causing red meat allergies is around 5,000.

"This has become the biggest cause of new onset food allergy and anaphylaxis in adults throughout the South and largely in the East as well," Commins told CBS News in May.

Experts believe the tick causes the immune system to have a severe allergic reaction to alpha-gal, a carbohydrate found in mammal meat.

Naturally, the best way to avoid the red meat allergy is by avoiding tick bites altogether.

A few tips by the CDC include avoiding grassy, bushy or wooded areas, and treating your clothes with safe-for-human insecticide after going to such places.

In addition, showering after being outdoors and checking the following areas of the body for ticks helps too:

- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around the hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist

Source: https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/Meat-lovers-beware-bites-from-the-Lone-Star-tick-13023721.php

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