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New invasive ‘aggressive ‘ biter’ tick spreads over several states of the US, sparks concern

This photo shows a ventral view, i.e., underside, of an adult female Haemaphysalis longicornis tick, commonly known as the longhorned check. (CDC/James Gathany)

A new invasive tick species have been described as an “aggressive biter” is found in a number of AMERICAN states, sparking concerns of the agriculture and the health of the officials.

The Haemaphysalis longicornis, better known as the longhorned tick is coming from the Asia-Pacific region. Predominant hosts are humans, poultry, cattle, wild rodents and birds, according to scientists.

The New York Times reports that the longhorned tick is the first new tick species to arrive in America in 50 years.

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It was for the first time in the U.S. at the end of last year, when it was identified in a sheep in Hunterdon County, N. J.

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“Recently, the tick is also found in the Union and Middlesex county in New Jersey, as well as a calf in Albemarle County, Virginia, and cattle in Hardy County in the u.s. state of West Virginia,” declared the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, in a note.

In addition, the tick is identified in Warren County, Va., as well as in Arkansas and in multiple locations in Westchester County, new york, according to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. The longhorned finch is also found on an opossum in Polk County, N. C.

“It is a serious pest of livestock in the regions and the way of introduction in the U.S. is unknown,” explained the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in a recent statement.

“His presence in N. C. signals that the need among farmers and residents for increased awareness, surveillance, and tick control management. It is an aggressive biter and often builds intense parasitic infections in animals cause of major stress, reduced growth and production, and blood loss.”

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In addition to East Asia, the tick is also a threat to livestock in Australia and New Zealand, where it is known as a “bush cross.”

“While the longhorned option is linked to a human infection in the U.S., the N. C. Division of public Health is working with NCDA&CS [North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services] to understand the distribution and monitor for diseases it may carry,” officials added.

The State of New York the ministries of Health and Agriculture and Markets noted that the tick has transmitted disease to people in other parts of the world, but said that more research is needed to determine whether this can happen in the US

“Anyway, New Yorkers should continue to take measures to protect themselves, their children and their pets against ticks and tickborne diseases that are present in the State of New York,” he said.

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Human diseases transmitted by the tick in Asia spotted fever rickettsiosis, a bacterial infection that ranges from mild to life threatening. The New York Times reports that the biggest threat of the longhorned tick is a phlebovirus that causes Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (SFTS), an emerging infectious disease described as a “hemorrhagic fever.”

“The disease has become a significant risk to the public health, not only in China but also in other parts of the world,” The Lancet reported in 2014.

The CDC provides advice on how best to remove a tick.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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