Health officials say tick activity can increase during the summer.

 

Ahead of summer’s approach, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning about the lone star tick and alpha-gal syndrome.

According to the CDC, alpha-gal syndrome is a serious and life-threatening allergic reaction that appears in mammals after a tick bite. Once a person is bitten, they can have symptoms appear after eating red meat or if they’re exposed to other products made from mammals.

The lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) is widely distributed in the eastern, southeastern, and south-central United States. A. americanum is a very aggressive tick that bites humans. The adult female is distinguished by a white dot or “lone star” on her back. The nymph and adult females most frequently bite humans and transmit disease.

The most updated CDC data set for alpha-gal syndrome cases shows North Carolina is one of the states with the highest prevalence of suspected cases between January 2017 to December 2022.

Learn more about the foods that trigger alpha-gal syndrome and symptoms to look for here.