Friday, July 5th 2019, 2:38 pm - The tick that can cause an allergic reaction to red meat is now present in at least two Canadian provinces.
About two weeks ago, the rare Lone Star tick was found on a cat in London, Ontario.
While it's suspected the tick is present in other parts of the province, including Woodstock and Lindsay it hasn't been confirmed.
Now, a second tick has been discovered in Willow Lake Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
According to SCTV, Jason Miller noticed the tick on his hand after returning home from the park on Canada Day.
“I just felt something crawl across my hand,” he told CTV News.
“When I took a close look at it, I could tell it was like no tick I had ever seen in my life. It had a white dot in the middle of its back.”
It was later confirmed to be a Lone Star tick.
Kateryn Rochon, associate professor of entomology for the University of Manitoba, told CTV that not all Lone Star ticks are infected with the bacteria that causes the infection that can trigger a meat allergy.
While the tick has been spotted in Manitoba before, Rochon told the news outlet there's "no evidence" the ticks are established in the province and were likely carried into the area on migratory birds.
A Manitoba spokesperson told CTV there have been between zero and two cases of Lone Star ticks reported in the area since 2015.
Bites from infected Lone Star ticks can develop into alpha-gal syndrome.
When they bite, the ticks transmit a sugar molecule called alpha-gal. In some, this can trigger the immune system to react and produce allergic reactions to red meat.
There's no treatment for the allergy other than avoiding red meat, but for many people, the condition goes away over time.