The longhorned tick from East Asia can’t swim or fly but it can CLONE itself and it is transmitting unusual human and animal diseases across America.
2018 Alert by TheDogPlace.org Science Board
Rutgers’ Science department DNA analysis reveals the East Asian longhorned tick H. longicornis, commonly called a “bush tick”, is parasite native to China, Japan, and the Korean Peninsula. The nightmare tick was discovered November 2017 in a flock of sheep in New Jersey. We thank subscriber Anna Jones in NJ for bringing this to the attention of TheDogPress.com[Ref 1]
Our Science and Advisory Board decided this is more than a news story about dog disease and parasites because we fear it isn’t going away any time soon. The obvious first question is how did it get from East Asia to New Jersey? We’re told it must have arrived in the USA through imported livestock. (see Instant Information on ii USDA Quarantine Requirements.) According to the FDA and FAS (Foreign Agricultural Service) we export to the Asian market but rarely do we import Asian livestock.
It is therefore reasonable to assume the longhorned tick came in on rescue dogs and human immigrants.
The “invasion” of this new disease-carrying tick has given some degree of credence to those who chant “build the wall”. We are a caring, compassionate nation but Gallup, CBS and other polls confirm the majority of Americans oppose the mass scale of immigrants coming into this country. More to the point, even the most ardent animal lover would question the importation of shelter dogs from any country at all! The risk to American dogs far outweighs the feel-good (and $$$ adoption) value.
Dina Fonseca, the director of Rutgers Center for vector biology, says that livestock are rigorously inspected but points out that domestic dogs are neither quarantined nor health inspected. They are tested for rabies, nothing more.
CDC reports the longhorned tick, native to China, Russia and the Korean Peninsula, is known to carry a potentially deadly disease[Ref 2 CDC] but we were told it doesn't actually bite people. That raises the question... then why would it infest people?
The really weird thing is that these ticks reproduce by cloning themselves. This National Institute Of Health page explains self-cloning[Ref 3 NIH], a rare ability. Scientists will be studying the DNA of this invasive new tick. The ability to clone itself is only known in lower life forms. So this is indeed a scientific anomaly. It seems that the female can lay eggs and hatch them without ever having been with a male. “Anytime there’s something out of the norm that we don’t know, then we get a little panicked,” said Dr. Thomas Mather, professor of entomology at the University of Rhode Island. "Certainly, there is need for watchfulness in this case.”
What develops from this tick research will prove interesting. At this point, the concern is more about destroying the disease-laden invader. But who can predict where it has already spread through transported rescue dogs and human migration? James Lok, a professor of parasitology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine points out that this weird tick has already migrated great distances to get from Southeast Asia to Australia and New Zealand. What he and others are not openly speculating on is the method of transport.
As of August 2018 the longhorned tick has traveled down the east coast as far as Virginia and North Carolina. In July 2018 it was found in Polk County, NC which hosts the famous World Equestrian Games. Did it hitch a ride with the immaculately-cared for horses or with transient stable help?
Animal imports are quarantined and vetted. Human immigrants are not. Is America’s current obsession with political correctness dangerous to our health and welfare? That is the concern of all health officials and the current invasion of the longhorned tick is but one example our lax immigration policies.
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 CDC Infectious Severe Fever-Thrombocytopenia Syndrome - offsite opens in a window
 NIH explains self-cloning tick - offsite opens in a window
Editor's Note: We'd like to thank Anna Jones of Paterjay Irish Setters & Irish Red & White Setters, NJ for keeping us apprized of this developing story.
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