canada africa partner reservation Illinois agriculture is on alert for invasive ticks

Illinois agriculture is on alert for invasive ticks

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An invasive tick first introduced into the US in 2017 has now been confirmed as present in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced Monday that the Asian longhorn tick had been confirmed at the state’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory after it was found April 12 during routine active tick surveillance in Morgan County.

“Asian longhorn ticks are light brown in color and are very small, often smaller than a sesame seed. The tick can transmit tick-borne diseases that affect livestock,” according to a news release from the Illinois Department of Agriculture. “Furthermore, a female can reproduce without a partner and lay up to 2,000 eggs at a time.”

The state departments of agriculture, public health and natural resources are monitoring the situation in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“In some cases of contamination, deaths of livestock have been reported,” said Dr. Mark Ernst, state veterinarian for the Illinois Department of Agriculture, said in a statement. “Farmers and producers should continue to work with their veterinarian to maintain an appropriate management plan.”

“While the role this tick will play in the transmission of infections to humans has yet to be determined, the Ministry of Health is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to monitor the presence of the tick and investigate the risk it poses for both people and livestock,” added Dr. Sameer Vohra, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, added.

Experts recommend checking the body after being outdoors and showering immediately.