Here we go again. First there were Murder Hornets, then West Nile Mosquito's, now the Asian Longhorned Ticks are paying us a 2020 visit.

Just what we need, something else that can harm us, but after all, what did you expect during this crazy year that has already brought us COVID-19, Murder Hornets, West Nile Mosquito's, and now just when you thought it was almost safe to leave your home, the Asian Longhorned ticks are rearing their ugly heads.

Scientist's have recently discovered a large population of this very invasive species in Fairfield County. The Asian Longhorned tick is usually found pretty far from here. They are native to the Korean Peninsula, Japan, parts of Russia, and China. They actually made their first appearance in the this country on a farm in New Jersey back in 2017.

So should we be concerned, and can the Asian Longhorned tick cause problems to humans, the answer is yes. Goudarz Molaei is a research scientist and director of the passive tick surveillance and testing program at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, and he told that we should be taking extra precaution:

The identification of an established population of the Asian longhorned tick in Connecticut highlights the challenge and risk to human and animal health in the state, though this risk is not limited to Connecticut. The potential is high for invasive ticks capable of transmitting pathogens of human and veterinary concern to become further established in new areas as environments continue to change.

In other words, it's a good idea to take some simple precautions that could keep you safe from these and any other ticks.

It’s important for us to first know what kind of tick has bit us and if they’ve been on us for an extended period and whether the tick needs to be tested to determine the infection status. It is important that, should a tick be removed, it be transported to a local health department or a physician’s office so the tick can be transported to the CAES for testing.

Right now the best protection when your out, especially in wooded area's, is to cover as much skin as possible, wear light colored clothing to make it easier to detect any ticks that may be on you, and do a full body tick check after any outdoor activity. Also remember that ticks may use your pet as a host before going from your pet to you.

You should be able to identify the Asian Longhrorned tick fairly easily. They are a reddish brown color, and the female of the species range from 2.7 to 3.4 millimetres long, and 1.4 to 2.0 millimetres wide. If infected symptoms include severe fever, and thrombocytopenia, which could be responsible for lowering platelets in the blood.

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