CDC: Invasive tick species rapidly spreading throughout US

Longhorned tick. Nymph and adult female, top view - CDC image

PORTLAND, Ore. (KATU) A new invasive species of tick has made its way into the United States, and officials say it poses a threat as it continues to spread to new states.

The Centers for Disease Control reported the Asian Longhorned tick was first reported in the U.S. back in 2017. As of October, 2018, it was found in several states along the East Coast.

Females can reproduce without mating, the CDC says, and can lay up to 2,000 eggs at a time.

In other countries, the Asian Longhorn ticks have been known to make people and animals sick. So far, none of the ones found in the U.S. have had harmful germs.

“The full public health and agricultural impact of this tick discovery and spread is unknown,” said Ben Beard, Ph.D., deputy director of CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases. “In other parts of the world, the Asian longhorned tick can transmit many types of pathogens common in the United States. 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.”

The ticks are not normally found in the Western Hemisphere.

The CDC recommends people take steps to avoid tick bites, includes using EPA registered repellents, checking your body for ticks, and showering after being outside.

If you happen to find an Asian Longhair tick, remove it as soon as possible, put it in rubbing alcohol in a jar or plastic bag, and contact your local health department, veterinarian, or state agriculture office.

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