The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that many East Enders have been developing an allergic reaction to red meat after being bitten by lone star ticks.
Bites from the lone star, identified by a single white spot in the center of its back, are causing everything from mild abdominal cramps, to severe issues, including anaphylaxis and death after an infected person eats red meat, WSJ reports. The symptoms can take as long as months to surface after the tick passes on a certain carbohydrate called alpha-gel, which is also in meat. After the parasite delivers this alpha gel, the human immune system can recognize it as an allergen and react dangerously when re-exposed to it via a steak or hamburger.
Reactions to the meat tend to occur within three to six hours after ingestion. Here’s a slightly irritating video about this new local threat: