CDC: Ex­otic tick could harm peo­ple, an­i­mals

USA TODAY International Edition - - NEWS - Ash­ley May

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion is in­ves­ti­gat­ing a tick that is spread­ing widely across the USA.

Nine states re­ported find­ing the Asian longhorned tick, which car­ries a va­ri­ety of pathogens. The CDC said late last week it is in­ves­ti­gat­ing how the tick could affect the USA.

“The full pub­lic health and agri­cul­tural im­pact of this tick dis­cov­ery and spread is un­known . ... We are con­cerned that this tick, which can cause mas­sive in­fes­ta­tions on an­i­mals, on peo­ple and in the en­vi­ron­ment, is spread­ing in the United States,” Ben Beard, deputy di­rec­tor of the CDC’s Di­vi­sion of Vec­tor-Borne Dis­eases, said in a state­ment.

Asian longhorned ticks are some­what un­usual in that a sin­gle fe­male tick can re­pro­duce up to 2,000 eggs with­out mat­ing.

Hun­dreds to thou­sands of ticks can be found on a sin­gle per­son or an­i­mal.

New Jer­sey was the first state to re­port an Asian longhorned tick, first on a dog in 2013 and more re­cently in Au­gust 2017 on a sheep.

Since then, eight other states have re­ported find­ing the tick on an­i­mals, peo­ple and in en­vi­ron­men­tal sam­ples: Arkansas, Con­necti­cut, Mary­land, North Carolina, New York, Penn­syl­va­nia, Vir­ginia and West Vir­ginia.

Health officials do not know whether the longhorned tick is ca­pa­ble of trans­mit­ting Lyme dis­ease, but in Asia, it spread other se­ri­ous dis­eases such as SFTS virus and the pathogen that causes Ja­panese spot­ted fever, along with many dis­eases in an­i­mals.

In New Zealand and Aus­tralia, the Asian longhorned tick can hurt live­stock, re­duc­ing pro­duc­tion in dairy cat­tle by 25 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the CDC.

The tick causes blood loss and death in calves. Un­fed ticks can live nearly a year. To pre­vent tick bites, the CDC rec­om­mends us­ing En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency-reg­is­tered in­sect re­pel­lents, avoid­ing wooded ar­eas and ex­am­in­ing your­self and pets when com­ing in­doors.

Nine states have re­ported find­ing the Asian longhorned tick:


Check your pets – and your­self – for ticks when com­ing in from the out­doors. Nine states have re­ported find­ing the Asian longhorned tick. It was first re­ported on a dog in New Jer­sey in 2013.

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