Study: As Ticks Spread, New Disease Risks Threaten People, Pets and Livestock

This Inside Climate News article discusses how, as ticks spread, new disease risks threaten people, pets and livestock. One tick that a new study shows is endangering cattle in Virginia is able to clone itself, making colonizing new locations that much easier.

Since 2013, the Asian longhorned tick has popped up in at least 11 U.S. states, mostly in the Northeast. Previously limited to Asia, Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific Islands, it likely found several ports of entry to North America, hitching a ride on animals or humans. Its ability to clone itself without a mate made colonizing new locations that much easier.

In a new study appearing in the April issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, Diuk-Wasser and colleagues provide the most exhaustive local census of the new species to date—and suggest the Staten Island infestation is far more advanced than previously known.

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