Asian Longhorned Tick Spreading Widely in U.S.

Dec 14, 2018 | Michelle Shapiro

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with public health, agricultural, and academic experts to understand the possible threat posed by the spread of the Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) in several U.S. states since its discovery in 2017, according to a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

To better understand the full potential impact of this tick discovery in the United States, CDC is working with a network of federal, state, and local experts representing veterinary and agricultural science and public health to:

  • Determine the geographic distribution of Asian longhorned tick in the United States.
  • Determine the kinds of pathogens carried by Asian longhorned ticks that could infect people in affected states. Pathogens found in these ticks in other parts of the world include Borrelia, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Rickettsia, and Babesia.
  • Determine what new laboratory tests are needed to detect pathogens that could be introduced or spread by these ticks in the United States.
  • Establish a clean colony (ticks with no pathogens) for studies.
  • Determine how frequently the Asian longhorned tick bites people and animals in the United States.
  • Determine effective prevention and control strategies.

This network of collaborators will work to limit the spread of tickborne diseases before they affect people and animals. A concerted, sustained national effort is needed to address the threat posed by the Asian longhorned tick, as well as the threat posed by the ongoing increase in vector-borne diseases in the United States.

Learn more:


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About Michelle Shapiro

Michelle Shapiro is a communication specialist for the Environmental Health & Disability team at NACCHO.

More posts by Michelle Shapiro

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