Ticks Can Cause Red Meat Allergies Now?!
All the reasons I both hate and fear ticks this new reason may be top of the list. An article on NPR.com points out that one of the many side effects resulting from a tick bite could in fact be a Red Meat Allergy known as alpha-gal meat allergy. The tick in question is the "Lone Star Tick."
Dr. Scott Commins is very fascinated by the potential of a tick bite causing a red meat allergy:
"The range of the tick is expanding," says Commins. So is awareness about the red meat allergy it can cause. "We have a blood test, and the word is getting out."
Commins first began trying to solve the mystery of what was causing a red meat allergy in 2007, when he was at a University of Virginia allergy clinic. "We had a growing population of people reporting these reactions [to meat]," he recalls.
Early on, ticks were not on his radar. "We thought it was a parasite," Commins explains. But then he and his colleagues realized that many of the patients were outdoorsy types who spent time hiking. And eventually they pieced together the tick bite connection.
There are cases being reported from the South East all the way up to New York, Maine, and Minnesota.