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Bite from a Local Tick Can Trigger a Red Meat Allergy

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One more reason to be careful to avoid ticks on the East End: research has shown that the bite of the lone star tick—named for the white spot on its back and having nothing to do with Texas—can make you allergic to red meat. The bite from the tick somehow triggers the creation of antibodies to a sugar known as alpha-gal, present in mammalian meat. Hours and sometimes months after the tick bite, the allergic reaction sets in after the person eats beef, lamb or pork. According to Erin McGintee, an East Hampton allergist, the problem is endemic out here. The natural hosts for this kind of tick are white-tailed deer and wild turkeys, whose populations have exploded in recent years in the Hamptons.
· Ticks that Spread Red-Meat Allergy [WSJ]