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Aggresive Lone Star Tick Migrates North To Connecticut

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James Gathany
/
CDC

An insect known as the lone star tick has turned up in Connecticut for the first time. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has warned people living in Fairfield and New Haven counties to be on the lookout for the tick this summer.

Dr. Goudarz Molaei says the lone star tick doesn’t carry Lyme disease, but it could compete with ticks that do.

“One of them would prevail and push the other to the side, and then we will have diseases that are associated with one tick species regardless of the outcome of this competition. Dynamics of tick-borne diseases would substantially change in the next few years.”

Molaei also says the tick will aggressively seek out a human host to feed on.

“We have seen repeatedly in laboratory setting and in our field surveys that this tick species is rather fast and actively ambushing or seeking out, unlike other tick species that might sit and wait.” 

The tick can transmit several rare diseases, with a range of symptoms including fever and body aches. Some reactions can be fatal if not treated early. One can even cause meat allergies.

The lone star tick is from the South but due to climate change has been rapidly expanding north.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.