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Tick bite causes meat allergy

Tuesday, March 5th 2019, 2:43 pm - File this under "strange but true".

It's strange, but it does happen.

A man in Nashville, Tennessee is now allergic to red meat after getting bitten by a tick.

Chris Aycock was bitten by the lone star tick in the fall. He told CNN the only thing that happened was a mark on his skin that stayed there for two weeks.

RELATED: Widespread loss of insect mass could cause nature to 'collapse'

He says everything was fine until December, when he went into anaphylactic shock after eating a meat-heavy breakfast.

He ended up in the emergency room.

An allergist diagnosed him with alpha-gal syndrome, which makes him allergic to all red meat.

Aycock says he's had to make some lifestyle changes and is now eating more chicken and turkey.

WHAT IS ALPHA-GAL SYNDROME?

Technically, alpha-gal syndrome causes a person to be allergic to a carbohyrdate present in meat that comes from any animal with hooves.

When they bite, lone star ticks transmit a sugar molecule called alpha-gal. In some people this can trigger the immune system to react and produce allergic reactions to red meat.

RELATED: What happens if all the insects disappear?

Lone star ticks are usually found in the southeastern U.S., but deer are starting to carry the ticks to other parts of the U.S., the Mayo Clinic reports.

Alpha-gal syndrome has also been reported in Europq, Australia and Asia.

There's no treatment for the allergy other than avoiding red meat, but for most people, the condition goes away over time.

VIDEO: DID YOU KNOW? TICKS CAN SURVIVE THE WINTER

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