While health officials are warning of the dangers of West Nile, another bug bite could leave you with an allergy to meat.
Doctors are increasingly seeing reactions to bites from the Lone Star Tick, which carries a sugar unfamiliar to humans called Alpha-Gal, which apparently leads to the development of the allergy.
Houston entomologist Jeffrey Tucker tells out TV partner Local-2, “It develops antibodies, a way to fight those foreign antigens, it could happen weeks or months or years later. You eat some meat, that sugar is also found in meat and your body reacts to it."
The bugs are tiny as well – the Centers for Disease Control reports the female Lone Star Tick is only about half the size of a dime.
Patients who have been bitten by a tick should call a doctor if they experience rashes, fever, headaches, joint or muscle pain, or swelling in the lymph nodes within 30-days; all are symptoms of tick-borne illness.