HUNTERDON COUNTY, N.J. – A tiny parasite could be a big problem in New Jersey this year. It's an exotic tick that's never been seen in the US. It was first discovered on a sheep in Hunterdon County, and efforts to clear it have failed, CBS New York reports.
New Jersey was always at home to various types of– five, to be exact. But a new breed of bloodsucking insect is now in the mix.
It is the East Asian tick, sometimes called a longhorned or bush tick. Originally found in Asia, thousands of them are now in the Garden State.
Her discovery began with a phone call.
"A call from a resident of Hunterdon County that their sheep was infested with many ticks brought some and added, and lo and behold, she was also covered with the same ticks," said research microbiologist James Occi of the station , "It was kind of funny-looking, she did not know what it was, she had never seen her before."
Occi collaborates with entomologists at Rutgers University who tested the ticks. He said that steps were taken to kill her, but a few days ago he used carbon dioxide traps and found a number of pests survived.
This is a problem because of how the deer ticks that spread] It is well known that East Asian ticks spread a deadly virus called SFTS, which stands for severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome. Thrombocytopenia means low platelet counts, according to the Mayo Clinic
"It has potential, so we're worried," said Occi.
Symptoms of SFTS include fever, fatigue, cold, headache, nausea, muscle aches, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, lymphadenopathy and conjunctival congestion. In some cases, it can lead to death.
Residents talking to WCBS reporter Elise Finch expressed concern about the potential threat.
"There are enough things to worry about" The health of your home is something to worry about, "said Hoboken-based Laurena Morris.
" My biggest concern is that my dog would bring it home and somehow my son would get it, "Caitlin Dibetta said." More work must be done to avoid them and find ways to find natural enemies to eliminate them [Steve Maikowski] said
Scientists will be pesticides this week with pesticides in the hope of eliminating the exotic ticks.
How the ticks got to New Jersey at all is still a mystery.
An Ticks tested in November did not result inThe ticks that were collected a few days ago are now being tested.