A recent report stated that a new exotic variety of tick has been found in two New Jersey counties. It is also being reported that once bitten by this new variety, death can result within 48 hours.
Experts state that the tick is not native to the area, and because of the fact it seemed to have survived the winter, they fear it may very well be here to stay. So,far, amongst those that have been found, none of the ticks appear to not be carrying the deadly virus in question.
Named a long-horned or bush tick, the insect is of Asian origin. The tick has the ability to clone itself, making its ability to grow in numbers astronomical. The tick has been known to carry a potential life-threatening virus known as SFTS. SFTS is a member of the Bhanja virus serocomplex. The virus is known to present with severe fever and thrombocytopenia syndrome (low platelet counts). SFTS virus was first noted in northeast and central China with recently being discovered in Japan and South Korea and is described by the Center for Disease Control as “an emerging hemorrhagic fever.”
Health officials are urging all those who participate in outdoor activities to check themselves and their pets over really well. This particular variety of tick is really small and resembles a spider upon first glance. Because they are small, they can easily go unnoticed. A sheep farmer in New Jersey can attest to the effects of the tick’s bite, as her elderly sheep have died from exposure to the deadly parasite.
The tick in question was discovered at the Watchung Reservation this past May. However, it was just this week that the state officials confirmed it to be the long-horned bush tick.