Dangerous Tick Species Spotted in Pennsylvania

Officials confirm presence of longhorn tick

Officials in Pennsylvania are urging residents of the commonwealth to take precautions after confirming the presence of a rare, invasive tick.

The Asian tick, or longhorn tick, was discovered on a deer in Centre County, authorities confirmed last week. The species originate in East and Central Asia, and was originally identified in the United States in New Jersey, where it was found in large numbers in sheep last year. It has also been spotted in Arkansas, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia.

This type of tick is a pest to livestock, as well as wildlife, pets and humans, authorities in New Jersey said at the time the tick was discovered there. This species can carry several bacterial and viral diseases. So far, ticks examined in the United States do not carry any infectious pathogens, authorities confirmed.

Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, said the discovery of the tick should serve as a reminder to protect your pets and family members.
“Ticks can be found in your own backyard, so it is essential to wear long sleeves and pants, use insect repellant 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,” Levine said.

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