This tick is the stuff of nightmares. One bite can make you allergic to meat for life, and recent reports show it’s spreading across the United States.

May 18th

I'm usually not one for raging alarmism and click bait, but the idea of not ever being able to eat a bacon cheeseburger again has me reeling. Meet the Lone Star tick.

The Lone Star tick used to be considered just a nuisance as they do not carry Lyme's disease, but recent studies have shown that bites from this particular species make the host allergic to meat... forever.

This curse of a tick is recognizable by a white mark on its back, and it seems to be migrating across the United States.

The saliva of the Lone Star tick caries an antibody called oligosaccharide galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, but for short, they just call it alpha-gal, since it steals your alpha, meat-eating dominance. When exposed to alpha-gal, the human body then produces its own antibodies to stave off this intruder. Good for us, right?

Not so fast! Seeing as how we're all antibody experts after two years of media induced virology 101, we know that producing antibodies leads to natural immunity.

The trouble with being immune to this particular antibody is that this molecule is found in every other mammal except for primates, like you, which means your body now sees every bite of delicious steak, hamburger, bacon, sausage, lamb, etc. as a lethal intruder trying to kill you.

Cue hives, swelling, vomiting, wheezing, and anaphylaxis while your body tries whatever tricks it can to kill the delicious meat you ingested.

Besides the loss of ever eating mammalian meat again, the other terrible part is that your body doesn't start the attack until it has digested for a while. Most attacks occur 3-5 hours after ingestion instead of right away like a normal allergic response, meaning they usually happen at night while people are asleep hours after dinner, which also means no late night runs to the drug store for Benadryl; it's a trip straight to the ER just waiting to happen.

The condition has been labeled alpha-gal syndrome and between 2010 and 2018 more than 34,000 cases of AGS have been reported.

Think of all the cows that people won't be eating (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be thrilled, I'm sure).

The good news is that non-mammalian meat is still okay, so fish and poultry are still viable options.

So is McDonald's apparently!

I feel like God is taking this judgment on America thing seriously at this point. I mean, the loss of the ability to ingest red meat is enough to make cage-stage Calvinists start quoting 2 Chronicles 7:14, humbling themselves, repenting, and praying.

But seriously, load up on the Deet and/or Picaridin when you're outdoors this summer.


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