Perhaps the strangest medical phenomenon discovered in recent years is a link between the lone star tick and an allergy to red meat.

The bite of a lone star tick exposes a person to a small carbohydrate called alpha-gal. In a handful of people, this exposure elicits an abnormal immune response that produces a type of antibody called IgE, which causes allergies. Because red meat also contains alpha-gal, people who have been sensitized to the carbohydrate from a tick bite can develop life-threatening anaphylaxis if they consume pork or beef. 


You may think your odds of contracting lyme disease this summer are slim, but that's not what the numbers say. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates roughly 300,000 people are diagnosed with lyme disease annually in the U.S. Watch our video for some tips on how to avoid becoming a tick's next meal.

tickAs many as 30,000 cases of lyme disease illnesses are reported each year. For years, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has known that many doctors don t report every case, and the true number was perhaps much higher. They were right. The number of cases has skyrocketed to nearly 300,000 recently; the illness is 10 times more common than previously thought.

The new figure comes from a survey of seven national laboratories, a national...