If you weren't already anxious enough about life in Connecticut, here's some more information to keep you awake at night.

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According to NBC CT, the State has issued an exotic tick warning through the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. The report states that in the past few weeks the tick testing lab has identified "at least four exotic tick species from residents returning to Connecticut after travel in  Europe, Africa, South America and Central America."

1 - What does this mean for us? 

This invasion has the potential to introduce new tick born pathogens and/or the alteration of existing diseases.

2 - How can I prevent contact with one of these ticks?

The CAES lists 6 prevention methods:

1. Be aware of tick infested areas

2. Wear long pants tucked into socks

3. Consider a repellent

4. Bathe, look and feel for ticks after entering a tick habitat & remove ticks

5. Have ticks properly identified or tested

6. Check pets & livestock for ticks

3 - What illnesses are associated with ticks? 

The CDC says: "Some of the most common tick-borne diseases in the United States include: Lyme disease, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, anaplasmosis, Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness, Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever, and tularemia." 

The CAES says the Lone Star Tick bite can even result in an allergy to red meat.

4 - How do I remove a tick? 

The CAES says: "To remove a tick, use thin-tipped tweezers or forceps to grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible. Pull the tick straight upward with steady even pressure. Disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol or another skin disinfectant; a topical antibiotic also may be applied. Save the tick for identification or testing and evidence of tick bite. If you suspect a tick-borne illness, consult your physician."

5 - Have exotic ticks invaded CT prior to this? 

Not only have non-native ticks invaded the state but they've grown in population and made people sick. In recent years, Connecticut has identified the Asian Long horned Tick, the Lone Star Tick and the Gulf Coast tick.

Asian Longhorned Tick 

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According to the Agricultural Experiment Station:

"Multiple pathogens have been associated with H. longicornis, mainly in its native range including Anaplasma, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Borrelia, Rickettsia, Powassan virus, and a severe haemorrhagic fever virus but as of 2022"

The Lone Star Tick

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According to the Agricultural Experiment Station:

"The lone star tick is the most common human biting tick in the southeastern United States. With established populations in Fairfield and New Haven County, CT, the tick has become abundant through southern New York, areas of coastal New England, to parts of Cape Cod and the adjacent islands in MA. Female ticks have a conspicuous spot on the end of the scutum. Male ticks have faint white markings at the edge of the body. All stages are active during the summer months. Adults are more active in the spring and early summer, while nymphs are active from April through the summer."

The Gulf Coast Tick 

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According to the Agricultural Experiment Station:

"The Gulf Coast tick was originally distributed along the southeastern coastal states, hence its name. However, the tick’s range has expanded into the mid-Atlantic states in recent years with established populations detected in coastal New York and Fairfield County, Connecticut in 2020 and 2021. The adult ticks resemble American dog ticks and may be confused with them. However, they have longer mouthparts characteristic of the Amblyomma ticks."

This is a terrifying time to be alive in CT. There have been 5 shark attacks in the Long Island Sound, the Swimmer's Itch is going around, people are getting a flesh eating bacteria in their oysters known as Virbrio vulnificus and now Texas ticks want to make us allergic to delicious red meats.

If you're a person gets anxious about health warnings, you're probably reading this from under a blanket in your bedroom closet and I don't blame you.

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