The Invasive Longhorned Tick

There exists several tick species within the state of New York, but some are more common and more medically significant than others. The state is home to the American dog tick, the brown dog tick, the deer tick, also known as the black-legged tick, and most recently the lone star tick, which resides in the southern half of the state. The brown dog tick does not transmit disease to humans in New York state, but the American dog tick spreads tularemia and rocky mountain spotted fever. But it is the deer tick that poses the greatest medical threat to residents of New York state, as this species is the only one that spreads lyme, as well as several other diseases. However, it turns out that New York state residents now have another tick species to worry about, and this species is invasive and a possible disease vector in the state. This species is commonly known as the Asian longhorned tick, and one recently bit a Westchester resident. This may not sound like a big deal, but it should be noted that this resident is the first human in the United States to have sustained a bite from the Asian longhorned tick. What is particularly concerning is the fact that this man sustained the bite while on his own property.

The Asian longhorned tick was discovered for the first time in the United States only two years ago when several species were embedded into the skin of sheep on a farm in New Jersey. Although this bite occurred last year, the media reported the tick bite to the public for the first time late last May. Luckily, the man has not fallen ill from the tick bite, but in Asia, New Zealand and Australia where the tick is well distributed, this species spreads pathogens that can be lethal to humans. Unfortunately, it is too early to tell if the Asian longhorned tick will become a public health threat within the United States.

Are you concerned about the potential danger posed by the Asian longhorned tick species?

 

 

 

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