Exotic Tick Which Spreads Deadly Disease Found In Hudson Valley
An exotic tick which can transmit a virus that kills many is spreading rapidly in the United States and the Hudson Valley.
The CDC confirmed on Friday the Asian longhorned tick has been spotted in nine states including New York.
New Jersey was the first state to report the tick on a sheep in August 2017. Since then, Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia have reported finding the tick on people, wildlife, domestic animals and in environmental samples, officials say.
“The problems are getting worse and worse,” CDC Director of Division of Vector-Borne Diseases Lyle Petersen said according to the Washington Post. “We’re losing this battle.”
The tick, which is native to eastern Asia, Russia, Australia and New Zealand, is the first invasive tick to reach America in 80 years. In Asia, the tick carries a new virus which kills 30 percent of humans infected, according to the Washington Post.
“We really don’t know if diseases will be spread by this tick in the United States and, if so, to what extent," Petersen said. "But it’s very important that we figure this out quickly (because the tick) is potentially capable of spreading a large number of diseases."
What makes the tick different is that a female can produce 2,000 eggs at a time without mating, which means the tick can spread rapidly.
In August, Hudson Valley Post reported the tick was found in Westchester County. On Friday, the CDC confirmed it spread into Rockland County. Officials fear the tick could be "devasting" to the entire Hudson Valley.
"A new type of invasive tick was recently found in Westchester County that could be setting its sights on devastating the entire Hudson Valley," New York State Senator Terrence Murphy said in a press release. "The 'longhorned tick' could pose a health threat to families, livestock, and pets."
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