Here's some terrifying news for the Quad Cities as we dive into summer: there's a tick out there that can cause you to become allergic to red meat.

The lone star tick (pictured above with a deer and dog tick) carries with it disease and a bite that for some reason makes humans gain a red meat allergy. The pest has spread all over the southeast United States and even reaches far enough north to be found in Illinois and Iowa.

Experts believe the ticks are picking up alpha gal meat allergies from rodents and then giving them to humans through bites. Victims have noted that they woke up covered in hives after eating beef, pork, or lamb. Even though it's called "the other white meat," pork is technically red meat.

People who are affected by the allergy are encouraged to avoid red meat and further tick bites. Eventually the symptoms should go away along with the allergy.

There's also a bacterial infection that the tick transmits called ehrlichiosis which causes life-threatening breathing problems.


Read more at NPR.

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