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Asian Tick Bites CT Resident

Jennifer Smith

Posted on October 03 2018

NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - Weeks after reports that an exotic tick was discovered in Connecticut, state agriculture officials said they have evidence of the first human bite by one.

The Tick Testing Laboratory at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station reported on Monday the first evidence of a human biting by the east Asian longhorned tick.

The victim was a resident in Fairfield County, officials said.

"The laboratory is closely monitoring the human biting activity of this newly discovered invasive tick species and its potential involvement in transmission of exotic and local disease agents," said Dr. Goudarz Molaei, director of the CAES Tick Testing Program.

The tick was first discovered on a farm in New Jersey in 2017.

It's since been found in eight other states, including Alaska, Connecticut, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

“The identification of an Asian longhorned tick feeding on a state resident underscores the importance of our tick-testing program in helping to corroborate the capacity of this tick to bite humans outside of its native range,” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, director of the CAES. "Going forward, it will be imperative to more fully assess the risk associated with this tick and its capacity to transmit local disease-causing pathogens."

The Tick Testing Program at the CAES is a state-supported service offered to State residents since 1990. Ticks are accepted only from residents of Connecticut and should be submitted through their local health departments.

Story re-posted from Eyewitness News 3, Rob Polansky