There's a new tick disease in town and it can make you allergic to red meat. For real.
A bite from the Lone Star tick (thanks for that, tick naming people 😒) is making people across the country allergic to red meat, and they don't even know it until they've eaten pork or beef. The tick, formally named Amblyomma americanum, is also (thankfully) known as the 'reverse zombie' tick because it makes you say 'No' to red meat.
Symptoms don't always show up but when they do, they can vary from person to person and include headaches, fever, chills, fatigue, skin irritation, breathing difficulties, and allergic reaction to red meat. The allergy can cause anaphylactic shock if undiagnosed.
The Centers for Disease Control says Lone Star ticks are found mostly within the eastern, southeastern, and southcentral U.S., although reports of large numbers have been recorded as far north as Maine all the way to central Texas and Oklahoma. The ticks are found in dense undergrowth and wooded areas, as well as around animal resting areas, according to tickencounter.org, and are said to be "aggressive human biters."
While the Lone Star tick is considered a rare breed, but the CDC says the population has been increasing over the past few decades.
So here's what you need to know about ticks: