Experts still worried about this new tick since it doesn’t carry Lyme disease … yet
SALT LAKE CITY — An Asian tick invading the United States continues to befuddle experts who remain unsure of its capabilities.
The longhorned tick remains a mystery for many medical health professionals, according to The Daily Beast.
The tick doesn’t seem to carry Lyme disease, unlike its cousins, which include the black-legged tick.
Experts are rather familiar with the black-legged ticks, understanding its host preference, travel patterns and environment.
But they still remain curious about this new tick.
Rutgers entomologist Andrea Egizi told The Daily Beast that a colleague told her the new tick “didn’t look like anything he’d ever seen before.”
She said she took samples of the tick and ran them through DNA tests.
“It was a species I’d never heard of before,” Egizi told The Daily Beast.
No one’s sure how it arrived in the U.S., either. Sam Telford, a professor at Tufts, said it likely came from birds.
However, in Asia, the species can carry a virus that kills 15 percent of its victims, according to The New York Times.
The longhorned ticks “can multiply rapidly and suck so much blood from a young animal that it dies. The ticks bloat up like fat raisins until their tiny legs are barely able to support them,” The New York Times reported.
The tick has already popped on the East Coast. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture released a statement that called the tick “an aggressive biter and frequently builds intense infestations on animals causing great stress … and blood loss.”
Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania secretary of health, told The Pocono Record that people should be cautious when outside if they want to avoid all ticks.
“Ticks can be found in your own backyard, so it is essential to wear long sleeves and pants, use insect repellent containing DEET to help keep you safe from ticks and the diseases they carry. It is also important to check yourself and your pets for ticks, as pets can bring ticks indoors.”