❝ The Lone Star tick is distinct for the star-shaped marking on its back. That, and for the fact that, if it bites you, you might not be able to truly enjoy a hamburger ever again.
This carnivore’s nightmare is caused by a sugar molecule known as Alpha-Gal…When someone is bitten by a Lone Star tick, the body’s immune system has to rewire itself in order to combat this newly introduced molecule…
❝ In other words, your body has to create Alpha-Gal antibodies to fight the molecule. Unfortunately, this same molecule is also highly prevalent in red meat.
Many victims don’t realize what’s happened until the next time they eat meat — since the antibodies are most highly activated after the molecule has traveled through their gastrointestinal tract.
“Hours later, patients wake up with hives, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhea,” Stone said. “Some patients have had to be given life support because their blood pressure is so low that they’re in…danger of dying.”
❝ For a lot of people, it takes a few reactions before they realize meat is triggering the outbreaks. After all, they’ve eaten meat their entire lives and been totally fine.
❝ Cases of these kinds of tick bites are on the rise, spreading from the southeastern U.S. all the way up through New York and Minnesota.
As of now, there’s no cure or vaccine.
Ticks are worth avoiding as a general rule, anyway. Lots of bad stuff can get passed along into your circulatory system. And, no, I don’t think it’s a GMO plot by PETA.