The lone star tick, which can trigger a life-threatening red meat allergy with just one bite, is spreading from its home base in the southeastern United States, scientists say.
The Centers for Disease Control says Lone Star ticks are found mostly within the eastern, southeastern, and southcentral USA, although reports of large numbers have been recorded as far north as ME all the way to central Texas and Oklahoma. Large number have been reported as far as ME, and alpha-gal allergy outbreaks have been reported in Minnesota, New Hampshire, and the tip of Long Island, N.Y. The ticks are found in dense undergrowth and wooded areas, as well as around animal resting areas, according to tickencounter.org, and are said to be "aggressive human biters".
"We have three ticks here", Rebecca Young, a nurse who assists at the Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center at Southampton Hospital in NY, told Fox News.
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Dr. Commins was one of the first researchers to study alpha gal.
Lone star ticks are not now monitored by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, which notes only that the species is "very aggressive" and potentially poses a risk to most of the eastern United States.
"You have to be aware you've been bitten", Young said.
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The girl was bitten in 2013 and since then she could not eat red meat.
Part of Young's role at the hospital is helping people understand how to properly remove a tick, and to identify what type of tick it is.
As reported by USA Today, Purvi Parikh, an allergist, has said the warming climate is responsible for "Lone Star" ticks spreading further north, leading to outbreaks across the U.S. What is unusual about this tick is that its bite affects everyone the same way, despite the victim's predisposition or genes. But when it comes to the lone star tick it doesn't matter if you're predisposed or not. "Ticks are a little more stealthier. They actually will sit on vegetation and put their front legs out and wait for something to come by and they latch on".
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To help prevent the bite, the CDC recommends using a repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET or IR3D35.
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