A Lone Star Tick Bite Could Turn You Into A Vegetarian

June 26, 2017

© Jenheltonphoto | Dreamstime

One superhero is born by being bitten by a spider but being bitten by a tick can also be a life-altering experience. A bite from the Lone Star tick might make you a vegetarian! While ticks can spread diseases such as Lyme disease, a bite from the Lone Star tick (the female has a marking on her back that is shaped like Texas) can cause your immune system to become sensitive to alpha-gal, a sugar molecule found in mammal tissue like pork, beef, and lamb that can cause an allergic reaction when in contact with beef, pork or lamb.  In other words, your love for bacon cheeseburgers could cause you to swell up and therefore kill you! Although one bite may not cause such a reaction, the more times you are bitten by the Lone Star tick, the more likelihood that you will have to become a vegetation or vegan to stay alive. Although that may not be a terrible thing, the aches, fever and fatigue that comes with southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI) can be a downer. Scientists don't know a lot about alpha-gal sensitivity. Scientists don’t know why it happens, how to treat it, or if it's permanent. So make sure to protect your pets and yourself from ticks by avoiding tick-prone areas, checking you pets for ticks daily and applying a tick-repellent on your pets and yourself if you are frequently hike, ride or camp in the outdoors. Traditionally, tick bites peak in July.

SOURCE: Business Insider

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