It's winter now, but spring is around the corner. Things will begin to crawl about soon. (not about venomous serpents this time)
Ticks, and not just lyme disease or Powassan carrying deer ticks.
There is a relatively new disease called Alpha-gal or Alpha-gal allergy, and it is a severe allergic reaction to eating any red meat. All non-primate mammals carry a carbohydrate called the galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose carbohydrate. (Alpha-gal for short) (Humans are primates so we do not have this carbohydrate.) When a tick, usually a specific tick known as the Lone Star tick, sucks blood from a non primate mammal, it often ingests the Alpha-gal carb, and if that tick later attaches to a human, that alpha gal is injected into the human bloodstream when the tick injects it's serum that prevents coagulation. Since we do not carry the alpha gal carb, the antibodies in our bloodstreams go into attack mode in really serious numbers and cause a strong allergic reaction, similar to how shellfish ingesting causes a reaction to thos allergic to shellfish. Once this string of events takes place, you will have an allergic reaction every time you eat red meat. (poultry and fish are not mammals and thus don't carry the alpha-gal carb..you can still eat those safely)
Not everyone that gets bit by a tick with Alpha-gal carb becomes allergic, but it is a fairly high % that do.
The primary vector tick is called Lone Star because of a white splotch on it's back, that 'sometimes' resembles a star. During any stage of development, the tick can cause the allergy, as all stages of it suck blood.
Alpha-gal allergy can cause:
runny nose or congestion
anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that shuts down your body’s ability to breathe.
BUT, unlike shellfish allergy, the Alpha-gal reaction is most often delayed by hours. Eat a burger for lunch, you may be fine until the middle of the night and wake up suffocating.
I know several people with Alpha-gal allergy. All were bitten by ticks and unfortunately, each raises cattle but are now unable to eat beef, and 2 of them cannot drink milk either as the alpha-gal carb is also present in milk.
More info here:https://www.healthline.com/...ses-and-risk-factors
BUT Wait, there's More!
There is yet another malady called Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness and it's pretty new too. Known as STARI. It's not an allergy and manifests itself much like Lyme Disease, with the big dark circle around the tick bite and is sometime misdiagnosed as Lyme Disease. Other symptoms, are skin lesions and extreme fatigue. It too, is usally the result of a Lone Star tick.
There is not a lot known about how this disease 'operates' or what actual pathogen is at work.
Here's some more info on STARI:https://www.aldf.com/southe...-rash-illness-stari/
Watch yourself out there folks. Tis a dangerous world.