Updated: 08/08/2014 10:34 PM
Created: 08/08/2014 9:40 PM KSTP.com
By: Todd Wilson
Minnesotans know to protect themselves from mosquitoes and ticks to stay healthy during the summer.
There's one, unusual tick that's on the move. The Lone Star Tick is not in Minnesota yet, but it's causing some concern.
After we posted a story about the tick on KSTP.com, three local women from Fridley, Embarrass and Hermantown, claim they had been bit by the Lone Star Tick. Two of them said they suddenly had allergies to red meat shortly after they were bitten.
The Lone Star Tick is found throughout southeastern and south central states, but the tick is moving north.
"We have heard some reports of Lone Star Tick bites possibly being associated with allergies to meat, but there's a lot of research still to be done there," said Dave Neitzel with the Minnesota Department of Health.
Neitzel says as a whole there are several diseases spread by ticks. Lyme disease hit the state hard last year.
"Last year, however, was a record year in Minnesota for Lyme disease. We had 1,431 reported cases," he said.
He says, the peak time of year is mid-May to mid-July. Neitzel says it's too early to post new numbers for this year.
"And so a lot of the reports from 2014, are just starting to role in now to the department of health," he said.
As far as dealing with the Lone Star Tick, the best people can do is keep an eye on things. Neitzel says, it's only a matter of time until the tick crosses into Minnesota.
All three women say they were bitten outside of Minnesota.
Neitzel says ticks are typically a concern early on in the summer. Right now, mosquito-born diseases are a bigger threat.
We are reaching the peak of the West Nile Virus season. So far there are no confirmed cases in Minnesota, but last year there were 80 cases reported. The highest number of reported cases was in 2003, at 184 cases of West Nile Virus.