WOODBURY - A bite from a tick could force victims to unwillingly give up red meat.
Bites from the lone star tick are causing victims to develop an allergy to mammal meat, like beef, pork and lamb.
Southampton allergist Dr. Erin McGintee currently has 76 cases of tick-spurred food allergies. She’s collaborating with University of Virginia researchers to compile patient data. They’re hoping to determine the link between the tick and the meats.
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“It doesn’t fit what we know about food allergies,” she says.
McGintee says a bite from the lone star tick doesn’t mean a victim will definitely develop the allergy. But if you do, it’s unknown how intense the reaction will be or how long it will stay with you.
Other symptoms of lone star tick bites include itchy feet and hands, hives, abdominal cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing and loss of consciousness.