Health officials are sounding the alarm about a rare tick that can cause a meat allergy in humans.

The Region of Waterloo Public Health says over the past three years, three Lone Star ticks have been found in Waterloo Region.

In 2018, they say two Lone Star ticks were submitted for identification after being picked up by people vacationing in the United States.

Then in 2017, one Lone Star tick was found locally and submitted to the health unit.

Public health officials say this species of tick is native to Texas, the southern United States, and Mexico.

They say they generally travel north on migratory birds and being bitten by one can cause people to develop an allergy to red meat.

The reaction can cause hives, vomiting, and diarrhea and there is no known cure.

Public health officials are reminding people to shower and check for ticks immediately if they have been outdoors.