Unfortunately, there’s been a new tick species discovered in New Jersey that has spread into the neighbor states. Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group, points out that for the first time in 50 years, there’s been a new species of ticks identified in the US.
This tick is the Asian longhorned tick known as Haemaphysalis longicornus and it’s already affecting livestock in 8 states in the Northeast of the US.
Dr. Poland explains that this tick is very prolific and it can lay up to 2000 eggs at once. In Asia, it’s the main reason for a SFTS disease which stands for severe fever and thrombocytopenia syndrome. This tick was the main reason for death in 15 percent of these individuals.
Even though it’s not happening on US soil yet, epidemiologists are on alert, explains Dr. Poland.
What’s the Main Problem with the Longhorned Tick?
The major issue and its unique property is the fast reproduction ability. According to Dr. Poland, this tick is an aggressive bitter which puts a lot of stress on the host.
The Department of Agriculture notes that this tick has been found in New Jersey, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
The CDC explains that tick-borne diseases like the Lyme disease have doubled in occurrence in the past 13 years. This is the most common disease and accounts for around 82 percent of tick-borne cases.
Dr. Poland notes that the two newly-discovered viruses, i.e. the Heartland and Bourbon viruses, may be linked with ticks; however, there’s need for more research to be certain.
He notes that with the new findings in medicine and biology and the new types of sophisticated tests being developed, more and more viruses are being recognized and more and more changes in our body associated with infections linked with the microbes in our gut.