Wednesday, July 24th 2019, 3:22 pm - A self-reproducing tick not normally found Western hemisphere has been reported in the U.S. and is responsible for the deaths of at least five cows, according to a statement by the North Carolina Department of Agricultural Services and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS).
The department made the statement after discovering the cows died of acute anemia, a condition that occurs when there is an “abrupt drop” in red blood cells.
Some of the deceased livestock were brought to state officials with up to 1,000 blood-sucking ticks on them.
The Asian longhorned tick originates in East Asia and the first one identified in the U.S. was in 2010 in West Virginia.
Since then, at least 67 counties have confirmed a local presence of the Asian longhorned tick.
"It is an aggressive biter and frequently builds intense infestations on animals causing great stress, reduced growth and production, and blood loss," NCDA&CS says in a statement.
"The tick can reproduce parthenogenetically (without a male) and a single fed female tick can create a localized population."
So far, the tick has not made its way into Canada.
Asian longhorned tick bites have not been linked to human infections, officials aren't ruling out the possibility entirely.
TICK BITE PREVENTION
The NCDA&CS says the risk of sustaining a tick bite can be reduced by:
- Wearing long clothing outdoors, including permethrin-treated clothes
- Applying DEET and other Health Canada approved repellants.
- Showering as soon as you return home.
Routinely checking for ticks can also deter attachment.
VIDEO: A BITE FROM THIS TICK CAN LEAD TO A MEAT ALLERGY