Tick-borne illnesses are increasing - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Tick-borne illnesses are increasing

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(NBC News) -

Tick-borne illnesses are increasing. One woman shares how her life was changed by a tick bite.  

Like many of us, Linda Wilson loves to eat meat.

Linda Wilson a tick bite victim said, "Well, I am a carnivore!"

But since getting bitten by a tick in 2015,

Wilson said, "Two hours after I had a hamburger I started breaking out in hives. "

The meat lover developed a meat allergy and can no longer eat hamburgers, pork chops, and bacon.

Wilson said, "I can't have ham! I can't have lamb and probably venison."

Dr. Saju Eapen who specializes in asthma and allergies says the symptoms are varied.

Dr. Saju Eapen, an allergist said, "People are bitten all the time and they can get many different problems with tick bites like lime disease or develop an allergy to red meats. You can get simple symptoms such as hives and itching. But it can also lead to severe allergies and even death."

He says you can also get bitten and not realize it - as in the case of Wilson's. 

Wilson said, "I was a big itchy blob. I had no idea why I knew it was an allergic reaction."

So if you get bitten by a tick, when should you be concerned?

Dr. Eapen said, "If you start noticing itching or hives or diarrhea a few minutes or a few hours after eating red meat then it's time to seek help." 

If you develop a meat allergy as a result of a tick bite, Wilson says there is "some" good news, since the tick bite she has lost weight, 87 pounds. 

If you're planning to hit the lake or the river, here are a few tips:

Avoid tick-infested areas such as tall grass.
 
Walk in the center of trails and avoid brushing against weeds and keep grass and underbrush cut and thin.

RELATED LINKS: 
Tick season underway in Iowa
Ticks and Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease FAQs

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