This story published on JUNE 21, 2017 by National Geographic highlights the increased risk of Tick bites in summer months as we are likely to visit outdoor natural spaces.
Bite of a Lone Star Tick
This tick has a Texas-shaped marking on its back and when it bites and feeds off a cow or similar animal, it can ingest Alpha-Gal molecules in it’s blood meal.
And when, next, it bites a human, it can transfer these Alpha-Gal molecules into human blood stream causing human immune system to start keeping watch against it by creating Alpha-Gal antibodies. It changes human immune system posture towards this substance, which is present in most mammal meat. The Alpha-Gal sugar molecule is also present in some medications that use gelatins as stabilizers.
The illness manifests when humans experience reaction to eating meat!
This reaction is delayed as there it takes time for the meat ingestion to digestion pathway. It could be several minutes to hours when patients begin to experience hives, shortness of breath, vomiting, and diarrhea. So it may take a few such episodes to occur before people realize what ails them.
Repeated exposure to Tick bites can result in greater sensitivity.
If people are exposed to multiple bites, they may develop greater sensitivity to the ingestion of Alpha-Gal containing substances.