People develop meat allergy after bitten by tick
Cases of a rare red meat allergy are on the rise and some doctors say it's a tick's bite that is to blame.
The allergy triggers vomiting, abdominal cramps and hives after you eat a burger or other red meat. Doctors said the symptoms might not show up for weeks or even months after a bite.
Renae Mowrer, of Stanhope, recently found a tick on her shoulder.
"They suck your blood. They can give you Lyme disease and nasty stuff," said Mowrer.
Doctors said a rare red meat allergy may have to be added to the list of diseases ticks are spreading.
A University of Virginia allergist found a bite from a Lone Star tick can cause the allergy to beef, pork and lamb.
Des Moines Allergist Dr. James Wille said the study shows a tick bite can elicit an antibody to a sugar found in red meats.
"The same sugar that's in this meat is somehow related either in the tick saliva or something that causes you or I to make antibody to that," said Wille.
Wille said the tick connection is a possibility, but he said the study doesn't account for people who were bitten by ticks and don't have an allergy.
"There's got to be more than just being bitten by a tick and eating red meat," said Wille.
The CDC said that to avoid tick bites don't go into wooded and bushy areas, use bug repellent and shower as soon as you get back indoors.
Doctors said the red meat allergy's symptoms seem to decrease over time if future tick bites are avoided.
Lone Star ticks are found in the southeastern part of the U.S. from the east coast to Texas.
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