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New tick species found in Pennsylvania

December 10, 2018 Digital Media Exclusive

An adult female Asian longhorned tick is shown from above.

A new, troublesome tick species may be uncomfortably near when warm weather returns, the Center for Disease Control recently warned.

A Nov. 30 CDC report cites two cases of the tick being found in Pennsylvania, one in Center County and the other in Bucks County. They're to the south, as well — the bugs have been found in northern West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia.

These ticks, commonly called Asian longhorned ticks, appear to be spreading through the Eastern United States after initially being found on a sheep in New Jersey last year. They've been found on various domestic and wild animals as well as on humans.

So what's so bad about these bugs? In the far-eastern countries it calls home, the insect pays host to a slew of nasty diseases, the CDC reports.

Though ticks with the disease haven't been found in the U.S. yet, elsewhere they carry thrombocytopenia syndrome virus, or SFTS. Of 36 cases in South Korea in 2013, 17 people who got SFTS from the ticks died.

With Russia as one of its origin countries, Asian longhorned ticks can survive temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius, or 14 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a warning report by the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases, the CDC and Cornell University.

This is an excerpt — learn more about the tick and how agencies plan to deal with them in Tuesday's Butler Eagle.