The Asian long-horned tick has been spotted in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
An east-Asian species of tick capable of swarming animals and sucking their blood so fast they die has established itself in the US, with eight states on the eastern seaboard reporting the presence of the pest.
Public health officials have said they are concerned about the growing presence of the Asian longhorned tick, (Haemaphysalis longicornis), which carries and transmits unpleasant diseases in its homeland.
The ticks can attack en masse and drain animals of blood so quickly they die – a cause of death known as exsanguination.
Initially hard to see with the naked eye, following a blood meal the ticks swell up to about the size of a baked bean, and females can then lay hundreds of eggs.
Last summer, a sheep found in New Jersey had more than 1000 ticks on it. They swarmed the inspector and owner when they initially went in to inspect the animal.
All life stages were found on the sheep, which had no history of travel outside the country,” he said.
In a subsequent interview he said the owner came to his department with ticks on her hands and wrists.
“I thought she’d have a few,” Mr Rainey said. “But she was covered in them, easily over 1,000 on her pants alone.”
New Jersey wildlife officials are calling for anyone who spots the bloodsucking arachnid to contact them immediately.
Of the more that 1000 ticks collected, only one was male. This suggests reproduction is asexual. THIS is crazy because it greatly increases the likelihood or reproduction.
Clearly this tick population will continue to spread across the U.S. Its only a matter of time, honestly.
Just like Lymes Disease, which spread across the U.S. and took officials years before they publicly acknowledges this fact.
For now, the new arrivals are considered a greater threat to livestock. However, if we take a lesson from Asia’s epidemic we will see that if this tick disease moves to the U.S. is will be a major problem.
Japanese officials have been working on a antiviral for this tick infection; this tells us that they consider it a serious risk to the public. Reports state that the risk of death ranges from 9 – 30%.
Known in Australia as bush ticks and in New Zealand as cattle ticks, long-horned ticks can multiply rapidly and suck so much blood from a young animal that it dies. The ticks bloat up like fat raisins until their tiny legs are barely able to support them.
The diseases the ticks have been known to spread include Rickettsia japonica, the bacteria which causes oriental spotted fever, and Theileria orientalis, a parasite that causes cattle theileriosis – in which cattle suffer fever and sometimes breathing difficulties and weight loss.
Studies have also indicated that some populations of the tick in China may harbour a virus that causes SFTS – severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome.
The disease, first identified in 2009, causes fever, vomiting, hemorrhaging, and organ failure, and initially had a fatality rate of 30 per cent, though that has fallen significantly since its identification.
Another alarming tick….
According to a recent report from lab-testing service Quest Diagnostics, Lyme disease rates have skyrocketed in recent years. Positive test results have now been reported in all 50 states as well as Washington D.C., and several states reported sharp increases in positive test results between 2015 and 2017. (Yes, you may have seen that scary headline this week, too.)
That specific report may not offer the most scientifically reliable data, says Dr. Aucott: It hasn’t been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, it’s based only on tests done by Quest Diagnostics and not by other facilities, and it can only show what state people were in when they tested positive for Lyme disease bacteria—not where they actually were