The lone star tick, found in the eastern half of the U.S. and Mexico, can cause you to develop an alpha-gal allergy. Alpha-gal is a sugar found in red meats like beef, lamb and pork. Lone star tick bites, it seems, increase the level of antibodies for alpha-gal in your body, leading to allergic reactions when you consume red meat.
The allergic reactions can be minor, but anaphylactic shock can also occur. There’s good news, though — the allergies tend to disappear in three to five years, provided the victim isn’t bitten again.
The lone star tick is different from the black-legged tick, which is infamous for being a primary carrier of Lyme disease. But the lone star tick is gaining more ground than its more well-known counterpart.