Ticks have been a rising problem in the Capital Region and so far my only worry has been the threat of Lyme Disease, well, until I learned about the Lone Star tick.

The way you find out if you've been bitten starts with itching in one spot, then hives, then difficulty breathing, then passing out, and if not treated in time, sometimes even death. According to Wired, thousands of Americans who otherwise enjoyed a delicious steak have developed a meat allergy after being bitten by the Lone Star tick.

Called Lone Star because of the singular star on its body, one bite from this tick changes the structure of your immune system enough to reject any kind of meat. You haven't heard about it before because it was sticking to the southern United States until now where it has been recently found as north was New Hampshire. Scientists have found that this is a rare genetic mutation that doesn't discriminate and affects all people. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is currently researching this tick with the hopes to cure or at the very least treat this allergy.

If you're worried about ticks this year, you can look at the CDC website and see their tick distribution map to check which ticks can be found either in the Capital Region or anywhere you may be traveling. So far, as far as I know, no one in this area has been bitten by the Lone Star tick specifically but it's moving quickly.

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