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‘It’s a tick disease. It’s not like Lyme disease. It’s very different.’: Pelican Rapids woman says to beware of lone star tick in area

She says the bite from the tick caused her to have a red meat intolerance.
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 10:35 PM CDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 10:36 PM CDT
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PELICAN RAPIDS, M.N. (Valley News Live) - After the last few months, many people are looking forward to summer.

But ticks are said to already be crazy this year, and it’s not uncommon for doctors to see patients because of them.

We spoke with one woman who says: a tick bite changed her life.

“It’s a tick disease. It’s not like lime disease. It’s very different,” says Gayle Richards.

In our area, the most common tick we see is Ixodus, or deer tick.

This is the one that spreads Lyme disease.

“If it latches onto a spot and takes a blood meal and stays there a few hours to a day or two, then it can transmit a number of diseases,” says Sanford Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Avish Nagpal.

Gayle Richards from Pelican Rapids says she was bit by a lone star tick near her home seven years ago.

“I didn’t know that it was that. I only knew there were meat eating issues that I’d get hives and welts and I literally couldn’t wear clothes. It was horrible,” says Richards.

Richards says the bite from the tick with the white spot in the middle caused her to have a red meat intolerance.

She says she’s pretty much restricted to eating beans, chicken, and turkey for protein.

“You really have to be very careful about everything that’s meat related, about everything. I’ve never been that person,” Richards says.

And if she doesn’t....

“You get welts and hives in your ears, lips, everything. I thought I was going to have to drive myself to the hospital after the second time, but I didn’t know what I had eaten,” she says.

Richards says it took a long time for anyone to be able to figure out what was going on, but there’s still nothing she can do for the reactions except wait for it to go away.

“A lone star tick is not just from Texas. It’s here. It’s in there. I had two of them,” she says.

If you do get bit by a tick this season, Dr. Nagpal suggests you see a doctor if you have mild symptoms of rash, fever, and joint pain at a walk-in clinic.

“If your fever is severe and blood pressure is low, and you’re feeling dizzy, light-headed, or if you have severe joint pain, that’s the time to come into the ER,” he says.

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