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Wild tick clone armies suck cows to death; Experts fear for humans

  Terrifying arachnids are fat.
Enlarge / Engorged Haemaphysalis longicornis Female tick.

Ravenous swarms of cloned ticks have killed a fifth cow in North Carolina. That is, by draining the blood – warned the Ministry of Agriculture and Consumer Services of the state this week. Experts fear that the bloodthirsty crowds observed in the US for the first time in 201

7 will continue their rampage, eradicating the lives of animals and eventually transmitting potentially fatal diseases to humans.

Just last month, infectious disease researchers in New York reported the first case of a male tick in the United States. The result was "not surprising" considering the wildness of the tick. Bobbi S. Pritt, director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic. And it's "extremely worrying for several reasons," she wrote in a commentary for the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The ticks – the Asian Longhorn Tail or Haemaphysalis longicornis – were first found in New Jersey in 2017, when they terrorized a sheep, and have formed local populations in at least 10 states since their closure. This is in large part due to the fact that a single well-fed female can produce up to 2,000 tick clones within a few weeks, parthenogenetically – ie without mating. And unlike other ticks that do not feed on a victim for more than seven days, mobs of H. longicorni can last up to 19 days.

Bloody Lightning

According to the new report from North Carolina, the last victim was a young bull in Surry County on the Virginia border. At the time of his death, the doomed animal had more than 1,000 ticks. The official cause of death was acute anemia, which is typically associated with severe bleeding. The bull owner had lost four more cattle in the same way since 2018.

The case reflects the first report on the tick, which tracked down a lonely sheep in the paddock in a prosperous neighborhood in New Jersey in August 2017. The animal was besieged by hundreds of ticks that swirled the legs of health researchers as they entered to investigate the situation.

Since then, researchers from the National Veterinary Services Laboratories have reviewed their tick samples and discovered a larva. H. longicornis was isolated from a Whitetail Deer in Tyler County, West Virginia, in 2010, dating back to the first case known in the US. However, the researchers do not know when the tick first arrived and where it came from.

H. longicorni – as the nickname implies – comes from Asia, especially from East China, Russia, Korea and Japan. In recent decades, it has found its way to Australia, New Zealand and several Pacific islands and the United States.

Infection bites

In China and South Korea, the tick spreads SFTSV, short for the severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus. SFTSV is related to the Heartland virus found in the United States and had mortality rates of up to 30%.

H. longicorni is also known to transmit Rickettsia japonica the cause of Japanese typhus, and Theileria orientalis which is behind Cattle theileriosis. It has also been found to harbor relatives of US pathogens, including those that cause anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis and the Powassan virus.

So far, the health researchers have found no ticks that contain any of these germs. However, there is a risk that they will be introduced at any time. Pritt firmly. And if it did, the diseases could easily spread like wildfire through the starving hordes of ticks.

The 66-year-old New Yorker who had the first recorded H. longicorni Bite was healthy before and three months after the encounter. After working on his lawn, he found the tick on his right leg and took her to a Lyme Disease Diagnostic Center.

Although the biting tick was disease free, the investigators went back to the men's lawn and nearby park, they found slightly more of the ticks. More worryingly, the ticks lurked in the short, sunny grass, while other ticks in the area tend to stick to shady, wooded areas, at least in certain geographic areas, to highlight a wider range of potential tick habitats. "

H. longicorni It is known that populations exist in Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

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