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CDC: Tick triggering red meat food allergy is in Maine

PORTLAND (WGME) - CBS 13 is on your side as you're outside enjoying the weather this weekend. We have an important warning about a new food allergy caused by just a single tick bite. The lone star tick is being blamed for triggering hundreds of red meat allergy cases across the country.

The Centers for Disease Control says those ticks are in southern and coastal Maine, spreading from the southwest to the east coast. Doctors say they started noticing problems a few years ago when people who'd enjoyed red meat their whole lives went into anaphylactic shock after eating a steak or burger.

Unlike allergic reactions to other foods, these red meat reactions can happen up to 8 hours after the meat is eaten.

Some suggestions from the CDC to prevent tick bites:

  • Avoid wooded and bushy areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Walk in the center trails
  • Repel ticks with DEET
  • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors

Ticks are most active April through September, according to the CDC. Doctors say it's too soon to know if this new food allergy is permanent.