East Asian tick not a threat to people: Tick fears unfounded, officials say

HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJThe Hunterdon County Department of Health and Hunterdon Medical Center officials are saying the danger of the new invasive East Asian tick are overblown and unfounded.

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

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

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

“There have been no reports of the East Asian tick carrying severe fever with thrombocytopenia Syndrome in North America and 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 regards to removing ticks; however, the East Asian tick is not a threat to people,” Rainey concluded.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook

(Photo Courtesy: NJ Department of Agriculture)