Now Some Ticks in Maine Can Make You Allergic to Red Meat
Just when you thought ticks couldn't ruin your life more...now there's a new one that can make you allergic to red meat!
We are very familiar in Maine with dog and deer ticks. But there's a new one that's starting to show up that is typically from the south. It's called the lone star tick and one of the reactions to a bite can be an allergic reaction to red meat.
According to Maine Things Considered, Patty O’Brien Carrier has dealt with ticks in her garden up in Harpswell, but she had a severe allergic reaction and had no idea why. Once she had an allergy test - the results were shocking:
I was cooking a pot roast that I had been cooking all day long and the house smelled absolutely yummy. And she called and she said, ‘I’m sorry to tell you this, but you can no longer again eat mammal.’ And I said, ‘In one phone call I’ve become a vegetarian?’
Patty can't actually eat any meat from hoofed animals, and you can thank the lone star tick.
According to Dr. Marguerite Pennoyer, an allergist and immunologist in Scarborough (Courtesy of Maine Things Considered)
The cement the tick attaches to its victims has a special sugar in it that is called alpha-gal. And this sugarlike molecule is found in all mammalian meats except humans and monkey meat.
Sometimes you can outgrow the allergy - and sometimes you can't. Just cover up gang. It's gonna be a long tough tick summer and it would be even worse if you couldn't have a burger on the grill!