Illinois Man Develops Allergy to Red Meat After Tick Bite
Meat lovers, beware: date night at your favorite steakhouse, burgers at the best burger joints in town and backyard BBQs could be a thing of the past if you get a tick bite.
Sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi film, right? A tick bite that causes a meat allergy? It's true.
According to WGEM, an Illinois man developed an allergy to red meat after a lone star tick carrying the alpha-gal carbohydrate, bit him. The carbohydrate, which is found in the pest's spit, can effect allergic reactions to beef, lamb and even pork. Those reactions include hives, swelling and trouble breathing.
Todd Obert began to experience the symptoms of alpha gal the day before Memorial Day, saying, "I was going back to bed, and it just hit me, the hives.. I told my wife, I'm going to take a shower, that'll probably make me feel better;" next thing he knew, he was laying on the ground.
Doctors say the effects of the tick bite aren't always immediate and developing the allergy is extremely rare, but taking extra precautions against tick bites is extremely helpful. Experts suggest wearing long sleeves and pants in wooded areas and using spray with DEET.