STUDY: Lone star tick linked to meat allergy
POSTED: Monday, July 8, 2013 - 6:05pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 10:09am
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — If Lyme disease isn't reason enough to avoid ticks now, you may have to say bye bye to barbeque.
According to the Center for Disease Control these tiny insects, called lone star ticks, don't carry Lyme disease; However, new studies show being bit by one of these can put a damper on your digestive system.
Dr. James Harris, Allergy specialist from the Allergy Center in Tyler says, “Some people can have vomiting diarrhea abdominal cramping"
Lone star tick bites have been linked to the development of meat allergies.
Dr. Harris says, "It does appear to occur with beef, pork and lamb." He explains no cases have been reported locally but, he says that could change. Dr. Harris says, "It is certainly possible that we could see some cases occurring here."
That’s because the lone star tick is indigenous to most of the southwest, and these particular ticks have distinct features.
Ashley Pellerin from Prarie View Agri-Life Extension says, "The females they have a single white spot on their back, and the males have a white pattern around the edges."
Pellerin says this tick can be found in East Texas, especially in wooded areas, "they like warmer weather so a lot of times they will come out during the summer,” Pellerin says.
Dr. Harris says this new allergy information is pretty interesting, and rare, "This is the first case that I'm aware of that a tick bit or some kind of bite can make you allergic to something else."
However he says this research is fairly new, and in a year from now we should know more about the lone star tick and it's link to meat allergies.
There is a blood test available to determine if you have the allergy, however it has yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration.