Published On: Fri, May 11th, 2018

Hunterdon County Officials Try to Quell Fears Over New Tick Species

Hunterdon County officials late Friday issued their second advisory this month attempting to allay public concerns over an exotic tick species that’s never been seen before in the U.S.

The East Asian tick was spotted on a Hunterdon County sheep last year, and efforts to eradicate the insect have been unsuccessful.

The Hunterdon County Division of Health and Hunterdon Medical Center said that reports on the danger of the new invasive East Asian tick are “overblown and unfounded.”

“We have found that so far the East Asian tick is not a threat to people. We have no record of the tick biting people,” said Tadhgh Rainey, an entomologist and head of the Hunterdon County Health Division.

“Infestations associated with this tick have been extremely limited to date,” Rainey continued. “There have been no reports of infestations on livestock other than the initial finding on a single sheep in 2017.”

“There have been no reports of human infection associated with this tick,” added Lisa Rasimowicz, director of Infection Prevention at Hunterdon Medical Center.

County officials appear to have the potential impact on tourism on their minds.

“There have been no reports of the East Asian tick carrying severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in North America, and it is rare where it is found in the world,” Rainey said. “Those planning on hiking, camping or visiting Hunterdon County parks should be vigilant as always with regard to removing ticks; however, the East Asian tick is not a threat to people.”

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  1.' Tom E says:

    Can Mr. Rainey please describe the approximate size and shape of the engorged females? I’d like to make sure that I know how to find it.

  2.' Sandra says:

    “County officials appear to have the potential impact on tourism on their minds.” Perhaps they could concentrate on getting the canal towpath completely open. Maybe not park earth-moving equipment surrounded by metal fencing ON THE PATH that completely prevents walkers & bikers from passing through.

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