Summer is right around the corner. Now is the time we will start mowing our yards every week, taking kids on camping adventures, and walking the dog for exercise after being cooped up in the house all winter.

Along with all of the fun summer activities we enjoy so much, there is bound to be at least one or two "scuffles" with wildlife creatures. Bee stings, ant hills, and ticks are challenges thousands of people in the U.S. have to face, but for the southern region, we also have to be aware that many of these annoying critters can be life-threatening.

Lyme disease, poster child for tick-related illness with its bullseye rash and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, the deadliest tick-related illness, both cause high fevers, headache, overwhelming fatigue and in the worst case, death. Difficult to diagnose, Most people never know they were bitten by a tick. Thousands of people will leave the hospital after being treated for an allergic reaction never knowing what caused it in the first place.

As time goes on, some unfortunate souls will be plagued with the residual effect of these "unknown origin" tick-borne diseases. Once energic, happy and active people must learn to lead a life of musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and neurocognitive issues including depression. Not all patients who are prescribed a cocktail of antibiotics and other weird pills recover quickly, if at all. The medical community is now defining these symptoms such as this as Post Lyme Borreliosis Syndrome (PLBS).

In 2014, doctors and hospitals were beginning to see a surge in allergic reactions seen in tick-borne illness along with more aggressive symptoms: difficulty breathing, high fever, and even death. gen that many people may not even be aware of.

As much as I think I may know about tick-borne illnesses and how they are spread and treated, there is a lot more to learn. After hearing about Lone Star ticks being able to transmit viruses similar to those above when people eat meat, it caught my eye.

Please bear with me here. I am learning as I am going with subjects such as this. Humans currently do not produce a sugar called "alpha-gal", and while many of us have eating meat our entire lives, the concerns about "alpha gal" and other weird names has never been seen as a threat. Now, a terrifying creature (tick with a fancy name, "Ambiloumma Americanum" or "Long star tick" is on a mission to target meat eaters.

"Ambiloumma Americanum" or "Long star tick

With the tick-related allergic reaction, it is not an immediate response. When "alpha-gal" enters your body, you begin to produce antibodies to fight against this sugar that is new and not welcome. It is the next time you eat a piece of red meat that your immune system pulls an "all hands on deck" and battle the "alpha-gal" that was there but kind of hiding in the shadows waiting for the signal to attack.

Introducing red meat is that signal and soon the person is in the middle of an allergic reaction with similar to other food-related ones. When a tick bites, their saliva hijacks the human immune system's and triggers a massive release of histamines. Sometimes, people who eat red meat will develop sensitive immune systems, and the person's body produces antibodies to fight the sugar.

Most people that eat meat are unaware of the dangers that could cause them long-lasting pain and suffering. Unfortunately, the unknowing person that eats more red meat finds themselves promoting their body as a battleground. The saliva from one tick can cause our body's systems to see eating red meat as an attack and release a massive attack in the form of histamine. hosting a battleground in their body.

Bottom line, ticks such as the lone star are causing humans to become ticking time bombs as we are becoming more sensitive to meats from beef, pork, buffalo, deer, and rabbit, etc.) as our immune systems see these as threats to our well-being, more and more triggers massive histamine will be the only solution our body has to try and keep up alive and health.

This is not a disease relegated to areas where there are unclean living conditions, small third world villages or those that are irresponsible with their animals and how they can easily bring fleas and ticks into the home if not treated properly. This is about the "circle of life" and how the animals we are eating

Waling through the woods, a tick that bites you (with or without you knowing) may have a snack of cow or mammal blood earlier that day. It is this bite, from a tick carrying the Alpha-Gal, that bites you and activates your allergy response system.

Not everyone who has been bitten by a lone star tick will develop this allergic reaction it is possible that the symptoms can remain dormant for months or years. In the meantime, remember to be vigilant when you and your family will be outside enjoying the beautiful weather with a few simple "anit-tick" rules: Wear long sleeves and pants, tucks your shirts and socks in, use buy repellent, and avoid areas known for high concentrations of ticks.