Lone Star tick bite can cause allergic reaction to meat

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We have an alert about a tick that's making some people sick. It's called the Lone Star tick.

Doctors say they're seeing a surge of meat allergies in people bitten by the tick. They are found in Kentucky.

Dr. Lee Townsend with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture explains how it works.

"The steps are a lot of tick bites, body reacts to it, later you feed on red meat, you develop a reaction to sugars in that red meat," says Dr. Townsend.

He says the reaction starts about six hours after digestion of that meal.

"You get hives. You can have kind of a shock reaction... it is like you would get reaction to many different kinds of things," says Dr. Townsend.

It's called the Lone Star tick because of a white mark on the female's back. Doctor says you shouldn't worry too much, even if the little critter attaches to your skin.

"I think the chances of an individual developing that reaction is low," says Dr. Townsend.

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