Emerging tick disease might cause red meat allergy

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – With warmer weather and more people heading outside, the bugs and pests are right there with you.

This year, there is a new fear with ticks bringing a new strand of a complicated disease.

The disease known as Alpha-Gal is a meat eater’s worst nightmare. It’s transmitted by the Lone Star tick and can make you allergic to red meat.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the reason why this happens is because of the carbohydrate, Alpha Gal, found in red meat. Symptoms can take one day to months to fully kick in and, if affected, you can expect upset stomach, itching, nausea, and diarrhea.

That’s not the only disease you should be aware of when dealing with ticks. One of the top diseases in the area is known as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

According to doctors at Vidant Medical Center, North Carolina sees more ticks than other states because of the environment.

“A lot of people do outdoor activities here,” said Dr. Paul Cook of the Brody School of Medicine. “There’s a lot to do in North Carolina. That’s one of the reasons people move here. If they do activities outside, particularly in areas where there is grass or vegetation, they’re going to be in areas where there are tick exposures.”

There have been multiple cases of both diseases already reported in the state.

If you are bitten, it typically takes 24 hours for a disease to transfer in your body. So, experts say to remove the tick as soon as it’s spotted to lower your chances.

A viral video has shown one woman using peppermint oil to remove ticks, but according to the CDC, they don’t recommend the method, saying the best way is using tweezers and pulling the tick off as close to its head as possible

One tip from Pitt County officials gave 9 On Your Side to keep your family safe at home this summer is to manage your grass and keep it short.

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