The story sprang into the mainstream 3 years ago: the Lone Star tick being linked with violent allergic reactions in people who, previously, had no aversions to eating red meat. And now, as spring arrives in the Southeast, doctors and the CDC are warning you to stay vigilant.
In some cases, the reaction can be so severe that immediate medical care is required to save the victim’s life. The allergy looks like most other dangerous reactions: swelling, itching, redness, burning, etc.
The scary part? There’s no concrete understanding of what causes the tick’s presence on a host to change the way their body processes red meat. Doctors still don’t know if there is a certain predisposition in some people that makes them more susceptible to the bite, and it appears there’s no cure for it. One shining ray of hope, however: in some cases, patients have been able to recover from the allergy if they avoid being bitten by the tick again. The process can take years.
If bitten, you could experience severe allergic reactions to red meat beef and meat from other mammals. Including steak, hamburgers, hot dogs, and even OTHER foods prepared on the same surface as red meat beef.