A bug called the Lone Star tick has been discovered and it is as deadly (re: cool) as its name. Let’s just say had this Lone Star creature been a supervillain, it would have terrified even the most powerful of the heroes.
What the Lone Star tick does is it makes one allergic to red meat. Is that a collective gasp, I hear? Thought so.
Source: Wide Open Spaces
As reported by The Washington Post, thousands of cases were reported in the eastern seaboard of the USA, not very long ago. According to the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre Lone Star’s bite can result in breathing problems, a drop in blood pressure, cause hives, or even anaphylactic shock after eating red meat or dairy.
This happens because of a kind of sugar called ‘alpha-gal’ which is present in the tick, some dairy products, pork and red meat. Now, we humans do not have alpha-gal in our system. So, when the tick bites, it injects our bloodstreams with alpha-gal and the body produces antibodies to fight the alien component. So, the next time one consumes red meat and the other food with alpha-gal, the body treats it the same way it treated the alien component the last time.
The problem was discovered a few years ago and still is not widely known. The reaction can take four to six hours to kick in, which is why it took considerable time to connect the reaction to the cause.
It is still unclear if this allergy sticks to one for the lifetime. Scott Commins of the University of Virginia said that the meat allergy might get cured but “additional tick bites bring it back”.
This is absolutely the worst way to turn vegetarian, I tell you!
You can read the original story here.