A rare tick that causes an allergy to red meat has a name that may lead you to think it's only found in Texas. But the presence of the 'Lone Star Tick' is quickly spreading throughout the United States.

What is the Lone Star Tick?

While many people often associate ticks with Lyme Disease, a tick that has been dubbed the 'Lone Star Tick' transmits bacteria that could lead to something else:  An allergy to red meat.

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The critter gets its name from the presence of a white dot (or lone star) on the back of the adult female. A new study published by a team of researchers at Emory University terms the tick 'aggressive.'

According to New York Presbyterian Health Matters, the Lone Star Tick transmits a molecule that causes alpha-gal syndrome, more commonly known as a food allergy to red meat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 450,000 Americans may have developed alpha-gal syndrome.

Where Can the Lone Star Tick be Found?

While the Lone Star Tick has previously been found mainly in Texas and Oklahoma, the CDC indicates that its presence has been detected across the southern states and along the Atlantic coast as far north as Maine.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Gonzalo Vazquez-Prokopec is a professor at Emory University.

He cautions that the Lone Star Tick is very good at grabbing onto human hosts and says they wait on the tips of branches of many different types of vegetation, ready to pounce at the first opportunity.

Vazquez-Prokopec recommends people check themselves immediately after being outdoors, particularly in wooded areas, noting that ticks are easier to remove shortly after they latch on.

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