Arab woman suffers anaphylactic shock after Lone Star tick bite - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Arab woman suffers anaphylactic shock after Lone Star tick bite

Julia Greenwood suffered an allergic reaction to a Lone Star tick bite. (Source: WAFF) Julia Greenwood suffered an allergic reaction to a Lone Star tick bite. (Source: WAFF)
Lone Star tick (Source: Al Jazeera) Lone Star tick (Source: Al Jazeera)
ARAB, AL (WAFF) -

Many of you know a small tick bite can have big consequences, but you probably don't know a bite from an insect the size of a thumbnail could send your body into allergic shock. It happened to Julia Greenwood, who lives in Arab.

"I had never noticed the tick until on the day I working on this little dog and I found two them,” said Greenwood.

Greenwood is a native Texan, but it was in Alabama where she discovered the Lone Star tick bite could take her life.

"I had begun scratching my head and I pulled and it was the little red tick,” she said. "About a week later, I had just started vomiting and they had given me antibiotics and steroids. Kept thinking it was a cold."

It wasn't a cold. The tick bite had sent her body into anaphylactic shock.

"My face, tongue and lips swelled out,” said Greenwood, "Every time I would eat meat, like any type of red meat, I would immediately, like in 20 to 30 minutes, start vomiting."

Greenwood told WAFF 48 News that doctors told her that when the Lone Star tick bites a deer, it takes in a protein that when released into the bloodstream of a human, causes an allergic reaction when certain foods are eaten.

"You're looking at changing your eating habits to chicken, fish, a lot dairy products you can't eat The type of shock you go into with this tick bite is life-threatening, it can kill you,” said Greenwood.

Doctors say it could take nearly two decades before Greenwood's body is no longer allergic.

Greenwood says to make sure your pets are vaccinated to protect them from tick bites. Hot Dogs in Arab is offering free vaccinations for pet owners who cannot afford them.

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